London, 28 September – As Gazprom warned that the last remaining gas supply to western Europe is at risk of shutdown and gas pipelines are being blown up, Net Zero Watch has written to Liz Truss and Sir Keir Starmer, calling on both leaders to declare an energy emergency, on national security grounds.
In a letter to the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition, Net Zero Watch director Dr Benny Peiser has warned that the sabotage of three Nord Stream gas pipelines in the last 24 hours has brutally revealed how Britain’s energy system and its entire economic and societal stability is exposed to grave external threats.
Dr Peiser writes:
There is now a serious and growing risk to Britain’s national security due to the extreme vulnerability of the gas pipeline from Norway which provides a third of UK gas supplies.
It is vital that you understand that a similar attack on the Norwegian gas pipeline would, on its own, completely cripple the UK economy. This extreme vulnerability must be fixed as a matter of national priority, and must take precedence over all other considerations.
From a national security perspective, the urgent need is for immediate policy changes that significantly and swiftly increase reliable domestic sources of energy, which means gas and coal, without which the grid and the economy cannot function. I set out below key steps that must be taken.
It is also vital that you understand that no responsible government and opposition can accept this national security risk without taking swift and effect action.”
All obstacles to the development of unconventional fossil fuel resources in the UK must be removed. In particular:
* Replace the current traffic light system, based on seismicity, with BS5228-2, the ground-acceleration standard applied to other industries.
* Fossil fuel extraction to be categorised as Nationally Significant Infrastructure under the terms of the Planning Act. This should include projects in Scotland.
* Planning applications for shale wells must cover drilling pads rather than individual wells.
* Get coalbed methane and coal seam gasification projects going again, overruling Holyrood if necessary
* Suspend the Climate Change Act
* Suspend pollution controls on thermal power, thus allowing dual-fuel use of gas-fired plant and the development of ultrasupercritical coal-fired power stations.
* Several coal and nuclear stations to close in next few years. Critical risk that these are not maintained in the meantime. Give them long-term agreements to ensure they remain on the grid and are maintained.