Following the North Sea Transition Deal of 2021 - which aims to deliver the skills, innovation and new infrastructure required to decarbonise North Sea production by harnessing the industry’s existing capabilities, infrastructure, and private investment potential - the climate checkpoint plan seeks to facilitate the energy transition by ensuring that any new licences for oil and gas developments are aligned with the government’s climate change commitments, including the 2050 net zero target.
The proposed tests against which new licences would be assessed include:
- domestic demand for oil and gas;
- the sector’s projected production levels;
- the increasing prevalence of technologies such as carbon capture and hydrogen generation; and
- progress against emissions reduction targets.
The consultation ends on 28 February 2022. However, it is expected that continuing technological innovation will be key to achieving the government’s targets alongside industry growth, with IP continuing to play an important role in supporting and incentivising this energy transition.