QUAKERS IN BRITAIN have responded to the British Energy Security Strategy published by the government on 7 April.

In the week when the latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has set out how the world can avert climate catastrophe, Quakers have expressed their  dismay at seeing the UK government disregard its recommendations.

There is no role for oil and gas in a safe future. Global heating caused by fossil fuels is already wreaking havoc around the world. We have a very narrow window to avoid total breakdown of our world’s life-support systems – yet the UK government has announced a new oil and gas licensing round and reopened the door to fracking.

“There is no excuse for backing further oil and gas exploration, which would put our climate targets out of reach and do nothing for our energy security”, says the faith group. “Our government is putting all of us in danger.We need to invest in renewables and reduce energy demand. The fastest, cheapest route to ending the fossil fuel era is massive investment in wind and solar, alongside mass home insulation to reduce energy demand.

“Yet there is no new money here for home energy efficiency, and onshore wind continues to be side-lined despite its popularity with the UK public. We welcome continued commitment to expanding offshore wind, and urge the government to ensure increased speed of delivery does not result in lower environmental standards.

“This strategy does not address high energy prices which are leaving so many in poverty. Investment in energy efficiency and renewables is the best way to address the root causes of fuel poverty in the UK. While we remain dependent on oil and gas, we will be at the mercy of volatile global markets and industry profiteering. We need affordable, clean energy for all.

“We urge the government to rethink and take urgent action to bring about climate justice.”

* Read the British Energy Security Strategy policy paper here.

* More about Quaker work on climate and economic justice here.

* Source: Quakers in Britain