Boris Johnson to Call for Relaxation of Net Zero Target

Boris Johnson believes the West should be given a “climate change pass” to help wean the EU off Russian gas supplies as he faces mounting pressure over the Government’s 2050 Net Zero target. The Times has the story.

The Times has been told that Johnson wants the West, particularly the U.S. and Canada, to ramp up its own production of gas to help remove the “massive leverage” Russia has over EU countries.

While retaining the Government’s target, Johnson is understood to believe that Western countries should be able to increase gas production during the transition to nuclear and renewables. It came as Nigel Farage, the former UKIP leader, announced that he is launching a political movement to campaign for a referendum on the Net Zero policy.

A Government source said: “The Prime Minister has been very clear that one of the massive problems is the leverage that Putin has over a number of European countries over gas and oil.

“We have to address this over the short term, mid term and long term. The Prime Minister is interested in giving the gas industry a climate pass in the transition to nuclear and renewables.” Johnson hinted at the approach during an interview with the Italian newspaper La Repubblica and the German publication Die Welt last week.

“We need a collective European strategy and a Western strategy to diversify away from this dependence,” he said. “There are other sources… in North America, in Canada, in the Gulf.”

Liz Truss, the Foreign Secretary, suggested at the G7 meeting in Brussels on Friday that a ceiling be imposed on imports of Russian coal, oil and gas which comes down over time. She believes that the “long-term defence of freedom is worth short-term economic pain”.

Germany gets two thirds of its gas from Russia. It recently announced that it is shelving the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline from Russia to Germany. …

Thirty-four Tory MPs urged the Prime Minister to reverse plans to seal two shale gas wells, insisting that Britain must secure its energy independence. Cuadrilla is due to concrete over its wells in Lancashire on March 15th.

In their letter to Johnson, the MPs state: “We urge you to pause and conduct a review. At a time of such geopolitical strife, we cannot refrain from actions that would improve the position of the U.K. and its allies. We have seen how a reliance on imported gas affects the responses of other countries during the initial stages of Russian aggression.” The intervention was organised by Craig Mackinlay and Steve Baker of the Net Zero Scrutiny Group.

Worth reading in full.

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