Mark Carney says oil should not be shut down overnight
Former Bank of England governor Mark Carney has set himself on a collision course with Labour’s eco-zealot backers by declaring that oil and gas facilities should not be shut down ‘overnight’.
The comments from Carney – who earlier this week endorsed the party’s shadow Chancellor Rachel Reeves – appeared to put him at odds with the likes of another of its prominent backers Dale Vince.
Vince has long been a major supporter of direct action groups such as Just Stop Oil but last week said he would stop funding them while continuing to back Labour.
But Carney, appearing at a climate change event at the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank meetings in Marrakech, made clear he is not in favour of immediately turning off fossil fuel energy generation.
‘In economies that have conventional assets – oil and gas – you can’t shut those down overnight,’ he said. ‘That is not a just transition.’
Mark Carney made it clear he is not in favour of immediately turning off fossil fuel energy generation
Carney, who was appearing at the event in his role as a prominent climate change financier, said: ‘You need to build up the alternatives, you need to work with the communities, with people, to undergo the transition.’
Vince, in contrast, argued last week in a Guardian article: ‘To avoid the worst of the climate crisis, we cannot produce any new sources of fossil fuel.’
Carney’s comments suggest that, while he has become a totemic figure among the chattering classes because of his warnings over Brexit and work on climate change, he does not share the views of some of the more extreme environmentalists.
Labour has said it will not approve any new North Sea oil or gas projects but will honour commitments made by the current government including the green light given to Rosebank, a major project led by Norwegian energy firm Equinor.
The industry argues that even as companies invest in renewables such as solar and wind projects, new fossil fuel resources need to continue to be developed as older fields fall out of use.
Without that, they argue, the UK will become too heavily reliant on energy imports.
The pace and shape of the transition to net zero is likely to be a key issue battled over at the general election.
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has rowed back on the commitment to ban sales of new diesel and petrol fuelled cars by 2030 – pushing the date back to 2035 in line with countries in the EU.
The issue of climate change and how to pay for it is a major issue at the Marrakech meetings with many poorer countries needing help both to adapt to new, hotter temperatures and rising sea levels, and to switch over to become lower carbon economies.
Yellen’s alarm over Israel war
US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has said war in Israel poses ‘additional concerns’ for a recovery but said America was heading for a ‘soft landing’.
Yellen said the Biden administration was monitoring the economic impact of the crisis but played down a suggestion that it will cause global shock waves.
It came a day after senior figures at the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank highlighted the potential fall-out, after a spike in oil prices.
The atrocity has cast a shadow over the annual meetings being held by the two institutions in Morocco, threatening to dampen hopes of that the global economy is turning a corner. But Yellen said a ‘soft landing’, where inflation falls to a target without causing a recession, was the likeliest US outcome.
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