Energy companies meet with UK government amid net zero criticism

UK energy leaders will meet with the UK government on Wednesday amid debates on the future of net zero policies. 

Energy chiefs from some of the UK’s largest energy suppliers will meet energy security secretary Grant Shapps, days after the government announced it would approve over 100 new oil and gas licences. This will ‘drive a wrecking ball’ through the UK’s climate commitments, critics say. 

Former energy minister Chris Skidmore came out against the move, saying it “was the wrong decision at precisely the wrong time, when the rest of the world is experiencing record heatwaves”. 

According to the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero, Shell UK plans to invest £20-25bn in the UK energy system over the next 10 years, while BP intends to invest up to £18bn in the UK to the end of 2030. SSE have also announced plans to invest £18bn up to 2027 in low carbon infrastructure and National Grid will be investing over £16bn in the five-year period to 2026.  

“Energy industry leaders can see that this government will back homegrown, secure energy – whether that’s renewables, our revival in nuclear or our support for our vital oil and gas industry in the North Sea,” Shapps said. 

The government is under pressure to rethink net zero policies after a by-election lost by Labour candidate Sadiq Khan was largely due to plans to extend the implementation of the ultra-low emissions zone. 

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