Zac Goldsmith Says Oil Crisis A ‘Lesson’ UK Needs To End Fossil Fuel Dependence

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Pictured: Environment Minister Zac Goldsmith said the ongoing oil crisis was a “good lesson” in the need to end dependence on fossil fuels

Environment Minister Zac Goldsmith said the ongoing oil crisis was a “good lesson” in the need to end dependence on fossil fuels.

In an interview with The Independent, Lord Goldsmith said queues at gas stations amid current shortages should serve as a reminder of the need to speed up the shift to electric vehicles.

He also dismissed fears that the current difficulties will make it more difficult to secure political and public support for a deal to tackle the climate emergency at the upcoming Cop26 summit in Glasgow.

Military drivers will be deployed to deliver fuel to the forecourt from Monday as the pump crisis continues.

Nearly 200 military personnel, including 100 drivers, have trained at transport sites and will begin deliveries to help ease the situation at gas stations, which ministers say is stabilizing.

PRA data yesterday showed 16% of gas stations have no fuel – an improvement from more than a quarter on Friday.

Motorists are being told prices could rise as much as 5p per liter this week, as industry bosses have said things are getting worse in London and parts of the south-east.

Figures compiled by campaign group FairFuelUK showed the national average price of a liter of gasoline now stands at 141.9 pence, down from 136.5 pence.

People line up for gasoline in Loughton, Essex, as the government says the crisis subsides

People line up for gasoline in Loughton, Essex, as the government says the crisis subsides

Meanwhile, diesel drivers now pay 145.5p instead of the usual 139.2p.

Lord Goldsmith admitted that gasoline shortages represented a “crisis” with serious implications for many businesses and individuals.

But he added: “I don’t think this is hurting the momentum we’re seeing when it comes to the climate.

That’s a pretty good lesson in the need to break free from dependence on fossil fuels. You don’t see the same issues with people who have electric vehicles.

Lord Goldsmith also condemned skeptics, including within his own Conservative Party, who were organizing a “retaliation” against the campaign for net carbon emissions before Cop26.

The Independent said former ministers Steve Baker and Esther McVey were part of a group of rebel Tory MPs, led by Craig Mackinlay, who were rallying against the costly measures, while ex-Chancellor Nigel Lawson called them ‘”implausible”.

Pictured: Pumps in London.  Troops are expected to be deployed to help ease the crisis, with Prime Minister Boris Johnson insisting this week the situation is returning to normal

Pictured: Pumps in London. Troops are expected to be deployed to help ease the crisis, with Prime Minister Boris Johnson insisting this week the situation is returning to normal

“There are people in society, there are people in the Conservative Party, people in politics, who are skeptical and who do not support the government’s efforts to ensure this transition,” he said.

“I think they are very much in the minority and I think science proves them wrong. Extraordinary day-to-day events prove them wrong.

Lord Goldsmith also defended Boris Johnson for his commitments on the climate emergency.

He said the prime minister, who admitted to having converted from climate skepticism, spoke with “authority … and genuine passion” on the issue, and that progress in this area had been made “thanks to his intervention “.

Military drivers will be deployed to deliver fuel to the forecourt from Monday as the pump crisis continues.

Nearly 200 military personnel, including 100 drivers, have trained at transport sites and will begin deliveries to help ease the situation at gas stations, which ministers say is stabilizing.

Health Secretary Sajid Javid said the fuel situation is “stabilizing” in most parts of the country and the military is being deployed as a “precaution”.

He told Sky News on Saturday morning: “I think it is fair that as a precaution the government asked for the military’s help. I think it is the right step to take to ensure that people have all the confidence they need.

“I think this will stabilize the situation further and give more confidence.”

But the president of the Petrol Retailers Association said fuel shortages were worsening in parts of the country.

Brian Madderson said it remains a “really big deal” in London and the South East.

He told BBC Radio 4 Today: “In London and the South East and maybe parts of East England, if anything got worse.”

Motorists are being told prices could rise as much as 5p per liter this week, with industry leaders saying the situation is getting worse.  Pictured: Motorists line up for petrol in Loughton, Essex

Motorists are being told prices could rise as much as 5p per liter this week, with industry leaders saying the situation is getting worse. Pictured: Motorists line up for petrol in Loughton, Essex

Mr Madderson welcomed the announcement of the deployment of military drivers from Monday, but warned it would have limited impact.

“It will not be the major panacea,” he said. “It’s a big help, but in terms of volume, they won’t be able to carry that much.

“We need a prioritization of deliveries to gas stations – especially the independents which are the neighborhood retail locations – in London and the South East from now on.”

He said rising global oil prices mean motorists should expect higher prices at the pump when gas stations are restocked.

“Expect an increase of 1, 2 or even 3 pence per liter at the pump. It is not profit. These are real wholesale price increases caused by global factors.


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