Rishi Sunak confirmed the government’s support for new oil and gas licenses in the North Sea during a visit to Scotland.
The Prime Minister is expected in Aberdeenshire on Monday, where he is reportedly to announce millions of euros in funding for the Acorn carbon capture project, a joint venture between Shell UK and other companies.
He will also confirm plans to issue new oil and gas exploration licenses in the North Sea, according to the Sunday Times.
Downing Street said Mr Sunak would use the trip to describe Scotland as a “cornerstone” of the Government’s energy security plans.
No. 10 also indicated that the Prime Minister would be expected to highlight efforts to “power up” the North Sea industry in the transition to net zero.
Energy Security Secretary Grant Shapps will also meet with leaders from the oil and gas, renewable and nuclear industries later in the week as the government focuses on the issue.
The emphasis on UK energy projects comes after days of criticism of Mr Sunak amid fears the government’s commitment to key net-zero policies and environmental pledges could falter.
Some Tory MPs have used the party’s victory in the Uxbridge by-election, which has been blamed on anger over London’s ultra-low emissions zone (Ulez), to call for a move from government to creating a new dividing line to Labor Party to plead.
Sir Keir Starmer’s party would ban new oil and gas exploration in the North Sea, but the party leader has also said in the past that a Labor government would not interfere with existing licences.
Shadow Climate Secretary Ed Miliband said: “Every family and business is paying the price for 13 years of failed conservative energy policies in higher energy bills.”
“It is absurd that, after leaving this country so exposed, that the Conservative Party should urge the public to believe they can fix the problem.
“And it’s telling that Labor is focused on lower bills and good jobs, but Rishi Sunak, desperate for a culture war on climate to appease his divided party, is desperately losing track of what he believes by the day, depending on which faction he meets.
“It’s no way to govern and it’s costing working people.”
But Mr Sunak and his ministers have stressed the need to exploit the North Sea’s fossil fuel resources, particularly since the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Such moves have raised alarm among climate activists as the government already faces opposition to any development of Rosebank, 80 miles northwest of Shetland.
The Prime Minister was met with questions about his environmental concerns over the weekend after ordering a review of the development of restricted-traffic areas, apparently in a bid to win motorist support for the Tories.
The Financial Times also revealed that the government has made changes to Britain’s post-Brexit carbon trading scheme to offer more allowances to industries and make pollution cheaper.
A spokesman for the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero said: “We have taken significant steps to improve the ambition of the UK Emissions Trading Scheme and recently announced a 30% reduction in the cap – to bring the scheme in line with our net zero.” to bring.” zero goals.
“We want to ensure a smooth transition to the net-zero cap, allowing the market and participants time to adjust, while ensuring the strength of the overall target is not compromised.”
Not all Conservative MPs want the PM toning down his net-zero commitments after some backbenchers urged Mr Sunak to reconsider the 2030 deadline for the 2030 ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel cars.
“It is not conservative to risk burning the planet. If you destroy the planet there is nothing to be saved,” senior Tory MP Damian Green told BBC Radio 4’s Westminster Hour on Sunday.