Trevelyan: UK must 'grow our green economy' to reduce reliance on Russian energy 'once and for all'

Tue 5 Apr 2022
Posted by: William Barns-Graham
Trade News

anne marie-trevelyan

International trade minister Anne-Marie Trevelyan has said that the UK must build its green economy to “eliminate Russian fuel from our energy mix once and for all”.

Speaking in Norway yesterday (4 April) on a trip to boost the countries’ £27bn trade relationship, Trevelyan said the UK must work with “reliable energy partners” to “meet our needs, protect our supply chains, and steady the global market”.

Her visit came on the same day that the latest UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report was published, which urged countries to “act now” to avoid irreversible impacts from global warming.

Trade role

The Independent reports that Trevelyan emphasised that trade and investment could help end dependence on Russian energy.

As well as meeting renewable energy companies in Norway, the minister addressed a maritime conference where she spoke of existing energy ties to Norwegian gas and electricity – the two countries are joined by the world’s longest undersea electrical cable.

Green economy

She called on the two countries “to grow our green economy”.

“Across our economies, the more we trade and the more we invest, the more prosperous we will become, and we can use these gains to build a green economy that will eliminate Russian fuel from our energy mix once and for all,” she said.

As previously covered in the IOE&IT Daily Update, the government has pledged to lead a “green industrial revolution” which will create jobs and export opportunities for UK green tech firms.

Energy strategy

The government is to announce a new energy strategy on Thursday, reports the BBC, which will aim to boost UK energy production – including from renewable sources – in a bid to move away from Russian oil and gas.

According to the Daily Mail, Boris Johnson has shelved plans to double or even treble the number of wind turbines in the countryside and will instead approve plans for up to seven new nuclear reactors instead.

‘Open’ door for fracking

The Prime Minister is said to have rejected ambitious targets presented by business secretary Kwasi Kwarteng to double the UK's onshore output to 30GW by 2030.

The strategy could instead look at planning permission rules for onshore wind, although this is politically contentious. Ministers are likely to “keep the door open” to the controversial practice of fracking.

Act now

The latest IPCC report has underlined the “now or never” nature of a dash to a low-carbon economy, reports the Guardian.

Greenhouse gas emissions must peak by 2025 and must be nearly halved this decade to give the world a chance of limiting future heating to 1.5C above pre-industrial levels, according to the IPCC.

Environmental news website reports that, as well as dramatically scaling back existing fossil fuel infrastructure and reducing the pipeline for future projects, the report calls for:

  • increased investment in clean energy
  • energy storage
  • low-carbon transport
  • low-carbon buildings
  • nature creation and restoration
  • man-made carbon capture technologies
  • sustainable agriculture
  • technologies to decarbonise heavy industrial sectors