LONDON - Britain's government on Monday launched a review of how the country plans to meet its climate target of net zero emissions by 2050, saying it needs to ensure meeting the goal provides energy security and is affordable for businesses and households.
The review comes as Britain seeks to boost extraction of fossil fuels with plans for new oil and gas licensing rounds and after the government last week lifted a ban on onshore fracking for gas as it tries to boost energy independence following Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
"The government remains committed to reaching our net zero emissions targets, but with Russia weaponising energy across Europe we must make sure we do so in a way that increases energy security and does not place undue burdens on businesses or consumers," said Business and Energy secretary Jacob Rees Mogg, who has previously expressed scepticism about the need to fight climate change.
Britain in 2019 became the first member of the Group of Seven wealthy nations to set a net zero target, which will require wholesale changes in the way Britons travel, eat and use electricity, and last year set out its strategy for meeting the goal.
“Since then, there have been major changes to the economic and political landscape: Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine, historically high global energy prices and high inflation,” the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy said in a statement.
The review will examine the most pro-business way of reaching net zero, how to maximise opportunities such as jobs and look at the economic costs and benefits associated with new technology.
The review, led by former Energy Minister Chris Skidmore, will be submitted to government by the end of the year.
(Reporting By Susanna Twidale; Editing by Kirsten Donovan)