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Opinion: The truth about Sunak’s plans for the North Sea is that he will sell out the planet to the dirtiest bidders

Jun 23, 2023

Despite grave new warnings about the depth of the climate crisis, plutocrats are fighting to keep their profits – and UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak is with them, says Guardian columnist George Monbiot.

In a nutshell:

Monbiot's commentary follows the announcement this week that the UK will grant hundreds of new North Sea oil and gas licenses as Sunak's government promotes fossil fuels as part of its energy strategy. As environmental scientists and activists fight for the survival of the planet, the fossil fuel and other polluting industries are engaged in a fierce battle to defend their economic interests. By supporting these industries, political leaders like Rishi Sunak in the UK and Donald Trump in the US are making decisions that prioritize short-term economic gains over the urgent need to address the climate breakdown, writes Monbiot.

Key quote:

"The most damaging companies have the greatest incentive to invest money in politics (by making donations to political parties, funding lobbyists and junktanks, hiring troll farms and microtargeters and all the other overt or covert techniques). So politics, in our money-driven system, comes to be dominated by the most damaging companies."

The big picture:

The consequences of continuing to support the politically powerful fossil fuel industry could lead to disastrous climate impacts, from the collapse of crucial ocean currents to severe disruptions in global weather patterns and food production. In addition, burning fossil fuels releases harmful pollutants and greenhouse gases, contributing to air pollution, respiratory illnesses, heart disease and other health problems. The stakes for global health have never been higher.

Read Monbiot's full commentary at The Guardian.

In a nutshell:Key quote: The big picture: