On Wednesday 9th of March in the House of Commons there was a debate on the subject of Russian Oil Import Ban which was being hosted by the Government Minister Kwasi Kwarteng who is the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. The whole of the debate can be obtained from here. Only one of the Sussex MPs took part in the debate and that was Caroline Lucas who raised a very significant point that we now need the Government to pay attention to. Sadly Kwasi Kwarteng made it very clear that he disagreed with the call from Caroline and so given that Caroline has a view that is very widely endorsed we need Kwasi Kwarteng to review his own ideas. Indeed given that our Government has on occasions claimed to be supportive of reducing fossil fuels so perhaps Kwasi can recall that.
Caroline Lucas: The Government are right to get off Russian oil and gas—I welcome that—but wrong to propose replacing it with new domestic production. Our dependence on fossil fuels is what got us into this energy crisis in the first place, and that is why many of us, including the International Energy Agency, are calling for no new licences. The real insanity is trying to get out of one crisis by plunging ourselves into another. More extraction from the North sea will keep our bills high and drive us past safe climate limits, and fracking will not help. Will the Secretary of State use this moment to launch an emergency green revolution? Will he get serious at last about energy efficiency, and will he wean the UK off not just Russian oil and gas, but all oil and gas now?
Kwasi Kwarteng: On this question, I have to confess that the hon. Lady and I have completely different views. We are diametrically opposed. I agree with her on the net zero commitment, but this idea that we can simply switch the lights off, so to speak, on oil and gas is absurd. [Interruption.] It is completely absurd and we need to have investment in the North sea.
Caroline Lucas: “No new licences” is what I said.