Thank you for contacting me about COP26 and international fossil fuel exploration.
I appreciate you taking the time to contact me. I note that you raise four specific cases relating to fossil fuel extraction, Mozambique, Whitehaven, Cambo and Horse Hill in particular.
I thoroughly believe that if we are to successfully limit our global temperature increase to just 1.5°C, then the UK should be doing its utmost to encourage more developing nations to move away from dirtier fossil fuels like coal. For instance, the UK's support and guidance for Mozambique’s project will help with their transition. The Government of Mozambique considers revenues from the LNG project as an important source of investment to support their transition to more renewable energy sources, in line with its National Determined Contribution and its Paris Agreement commitments.
With regard to Whitehaven, the application raised planning issues of more than just local importance and a public inquiry was held, the outcome of which will be considered before any decision is made. This inquiry has now concluded and will be followed by the preparation of a report and recommendation for ministers to consider in due course.
I also appreciate you raising your concerns about the Cambo oil field. It is important to note that the original licensing consent for the Cambo oil field dates back to 2001 and the project is going through normal regulatory processes.
While I am glad the Government is working hard to drive down demand for fossil fuels, I do also appreciate that there will continue to be ongoing demand for oil and gas over the coming years, as recognised by the independent Climate Change Committee.
Horse Hill, the final case you raise, is being challenged in the Court of Appeal and I note your concerns.
Thank you again for taking the time to contact me. While I was unable to attend the debate due to other diary commitments, I will continue to follow this issue closely.