North Sea Green Transition

North Sea Transition Deal will protect and drive new green energy jobs for the future

4 minutes read

North Sea Green Transition

New measures announced in the North Sea Transition Deal will ensure skilled oil and gas professionals are not left behind in the accelerated transition towards a low carbon future.

The UK government announced a landmark deal ensuring oil and gas workers remain a part of a low carbon future. The sector deal between the UK government and the oil and gas sector means workers and businesses will be supported during this transformation by utilising their existing capabilities, infrastructure and investment to explore new technologies such as storage, offshore wind and hydrogen production.

Predominantly based in Scotland and the North East, the deal will involve the government and trade unions collaborating and delivering the necessary skills, innovation and infrastructure needed to decarbonise energy production in the North Sea. Aside from supporting businesses with decarbonising, the plan will also generate the ideal conditions to attract new potential sectors to locate in the UK, creating new export opportunities and new jobs for the long-term.

Oil and Gas extraction is responsible for approximately 4% of greenhouse gas emissions in the UK. The deal is expected to reduce pollution by 60 million tonnes by 2030 while supporting the development of over 40,000 jobs across the supply chain.

Key measures in the North Sea Transition Deal include:

  • Targets to reduce emissions by 10% in 2025,25% by 2027 and 50% by 2030.
  • A combined government and industry approach investing up to £16 billion by 2030 to reduce carbon emissions. This includes converting fossil-fuel supplies on existing oil and gas platforms to renewable energy, focusing on carbon capture usage, storage and hydrogen production.
  • By 2030 the oil and gas industry will ensure that at least 50% of offshore decommissioning and new energy projects are covered by local businesses, providing an added boost to jobs in the UK.

In an additional move to support the move to green energy, the UK government will no longer support the fossil fuel energy industry overseas from the 31st of March 2021. Kwasi Kwarteng, the Business and Energy Secretary explains that the plans send a clear message around the world that the UK intends to be a clean energy nation, focusing on building back better and greener.

Kwarteng highlighted that they will not leave oil and gas workers behind as the UK moves permanently away from fossil fuels. Instead, the Business and Energy Secretary announced that they intend to harness the skills, experience and investment potential of the oil and gas industry to drive the green industrial revolution. 

The plan is to continuously create the ideal conditions for new green industries to locate themselves in the UK and provide new employment opportunities, securing existing businesses and the long-term viability of jobs in key industrial hubs.

Other government members have explained that we need to take action and reduce our reliance on fossil fuels by driving forward with the North Sea Transition Deal, enabling continued progress without impacting our economy and communities. The oil and gas industry is transforming but it will play a vital role in decarbonisation plans and developing the clean technologies of the future.

The northern region and Scotland have long been regarded as key hubs in the oil and gas industry, but there is no reason why they cannot be transformed into global centres of excellence for the transition towards clean energy. These plans go beyond making the move from oil and gas to renewables. Its focus is on the transition of jobs, skills and the expertise required to ensure the UK continues to work towards net-zero.

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