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The compatibility of UK onshore petroleum with meeting the UK’s carbon budgets

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The Committee’s report ‘The compatibility of UK onshore petroleum with meeting the UK’s carbon budgets’ is the result of a new duty under the Infrastructure Act 2015. This duty requires the CCC to advise the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change about the implications of exploitation of onshore petroleum, including shale gas, for meeting UK carbon budgets.

The CCC’s report finds that the implications of UK shale gas exploitation for greenhouse gas emissions are subject to considerable uncertainty – from the size of any future industry to the potential emissions footprint of shale gas production. It also finds that exploitation of shale gas on a significant scale is not compatible with UK carbon budgets, or the 2050 commitment to reduce emissions by at least 80%, unless three tests are satisfied.

 

 

 

  1. Emissions must be strictly limited during shale gas development, production and well decommissioning. This requires tight regulation, close monitoring of emissions, and rapid action to address methane leaks.
  2. Overall gas consumption must remain in line with UK carbon budgets. The production of UK shale gas must displace imports, rather than increase gas consumption.
  3. Emissions from shale gas production must be accommodated within UK carbon budgets. Emissions from shale exploitation will need to be offset by emissions reductions in other areas of the economy to ensure UK carbon budgets are met.

The full report can be viewed here: The compatibility of UK onshore petroleum with meeting the UK’s carbon budgets

Read more here.

The following supporting documentation is available:

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