British Prime Minister Boris Johnson wants to continue extracting oil and gas in the North Sea to tackle the rising cost of living in the United Kingdom. Johnson also calls on energy companies to continue investing in fossil fuels.
“I don’t think we can turn our backs on fossil fuels completely,” Johnson said in an interview with Bloomberg TV. “The UK has a thriving industry in the North East of Scotland. That is very important and we have to keep it up.”
In his drive to lower the cost of energy by increasing supply, Johnson also emphasized the importance of further investment in green technology and renewable energy sources. “To tackle inflation in the medium term, you have to solve supply-side problems,” he said. “So we need the energy companies to invest a little more in fossil fuels, but we also need the whole country to invest in more renewable energy.”
British Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak on Thursday announced an additional 25 percent tax on the profits of British oil and gas producers. The proceeds are used to help consumers pay their sky-high energy bills.
To ensure that energy companies continue to invest in fossil fuels, the plan also includes a proposal for a new investment deduction of 80 percent. That means energy companies can reduce the amount they pay when they make new investments. The British government is thus breaking a promise made during the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow last year, not to subsidize the production of fossil fuels.