Sam Hall, Conservative Environment Network’s Director, commented on the King’s Speech:
“Today’s King’s Speech included some positive announcements to support sustainable transport, with bills to modernise the railways and enable autonomous vehicles. With transport the highest emitting sector and critical to economic growth, improvements in this area are welcome. It was also good to hear the King’s Speech once again reaffirm the government’s commitment to net zero and developing more renewable energy.
“Oil and gas is one of the most contentious parts of the government’s energy policy. A major political focus on new exploration could undermine voters’ perception of the Conservatives’ commitment to climate action before the general election. It could also overshadow efforts to promote the party’s positive record on renewables, which is not widely known and significantly more popular.
"We will need oil and gas for the next few decades. Indeed, it is economically sensible to pursue a fair transition, rather than a cliff edge, away from homegrown fossil fuel production. But North Sea oil and gas reserves are now depleted and expensive to extract. A more practical way to improve energy security would be to commission new offshore wind farms in next year’s renewables auction and offer tax breaks to households to insulate their homes.”