The UK “won’t switch off domestic oil and gas production”, the energy secretary has said in response to activists glueing themselves to his department’s building.
Kwasi Kwarteng’s comments came scientists aligned to the Extinction Rebellion group protesting at the department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) building.
In images and footage posted on social media, campaigners unfurled a banner saying ‘end fossil fuels now’, with some gluing themselves to the building.
This comes as the department looks to try and shore up the UK’s energy security amid the war in Ukraine, with Kwarteng championing the drilling of new fossil fuels, and even pursuing controversial fracking techniques..
Taking to Twitter, he said: “My message to XR activists gluing themselves (?!) to my Department:
“You cannot – and we won’t – switch off domestic oil and gas production.
“Doing so would put energy security, jobs and industries at risk – and would simply increase foreign imports, not reduce demand.
The group were pictured wearing white scientist coats, holding up signs saying ‘new oil and gas equals death’.
A BEIS spokesperson said: “We are gradually driving down demand for oil and gas, but we cannot have a cliff edge by turning off our domestic source overnight.
“Doing so would put our energy security, British jobs and industries at risk and simply increase foreign imports, not reduce demand. Our British Energy Security Strategy sets out a long-term plan to ramp up cheap renewables as we transition away from expensive fossil fuels.”