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Cross party declaration adds further momentum behind homegrown transition drive

26 June 2024

A declaration signed by a group of senior former ministers demonstrates a growing desire for a homegrown energy transition, the leading representative body for the UK offshore energy sector has said today.

The cross-party statement underlining the critical role of private investment by offshore energy companies including oil and gas producers has been signed by SNP, Labour, Conservative and Liberal Democrat politicians. In the statement the group said energy policy can “transcend party politics”.

It follows an energy-focused debate in Aberdeen earlier this week where Scottish party leaders gave support for the sector but continued to disagree on key areas of tax and oil and gas licensing.

The group said in the declaration that a fair transition happens with communities, not to them, and that delivered properly it can support jobs, communities and the economy in Scotland and across the UK.

Former Labour energy minister Brian Wilson, SNP cabinet minister Fergus Ewing, UK Conservative ministers Amber Rudd and Charles Hendry, and Scottish Secretary Alistair Carmichael signed the declaration.

Offshore Energies UK chief executive David Whitehouse said:

“This is an important cross-party statement which adds further momentum to our calls for a homegrown energy transition. UK offshore energy companies are set to invest £450 billion in UK energy projects by 2040 but this requires confidence in the political and fiscal landscape.

“For this critical private investment to be realised across UK wind, hydrogen, carbon capture as well as the oil and gas the country will need during this time, we need a competitive investment environment and partnership working.

“Without it, we risk watching other countries race ahead while also losing out on the benefits a homegrown transition can bring. If we want to boost energy jobs, grow the UK economy, cut emissions and unleash our potential, we must get the investment here in the UK.”

The full text of the declaration is as follows:

We, Fergus Ewing, Amber Rudd, Brian Wilson, Alistair Carmichael and Charles Hendry come from different parties with different objectives for Scotland and the UK and have each formerly served as Ministers in Government in Scotland and the UK.

Almost exactly 2 years ago we met in Aberdeen to sign the original declaration and today we build on that non-partisan statement by announcing a further series of shared beliefs as to the best future of the oil and gas sector and the whole wider energy sector in Scotland and the UK.

We jointly declare that:

  1. There are many aspects of energy policy, including security of supply, which can transcend party politics.
  2. Properly delivered, a homegrown transition will support jobs, communities and the economy. A just and fair transition happens with communities, not to them.
  3. Partnership working which involves Governments, industry and workforce is critical to achieving a fair transition to net zero and the fastest decarbonisation of the sector.
  4. The considerable challenges of meeting renewable energy targets within predicted timescales must be recognised and addressed as a national mission on which other aspects of transition depend.
  5. Private investment will be essential to delivering the transition so that a competitive investment environment in all technologies should be a priority for the new government.
  6. All political parties should retain flexibility within their policy positions in recognition of the fluid nature of domestic and global factors which can impact upon security of supply and affordability.
  7. Industry and government should continue to work together to agree a long term and stable taxation plan which provides substantial return to government, a contribution to economic growth and a sure investment runway for all technologies on which the energy transition is dependent.

Signed by Fergus Ewing, Amber Rudd, Alistair Carmichael, Brian Wilson, Charles Hendry


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