Despite climate change, affordable gas supplies must be a government priority – John McLellan
For years now it seems that barely a week goes by without a new apocalyptic warning, now we have food shortages and soaring energy costs because of the rocketing wholesale price of natural gas.
It makes a mockery of claims made about renewable energy meeting our needs when the importance of imported gas shows it’s not simply a matter of how you fry your eggs or heat your bath water.
Who knew until a fortnight ago that if gas prices soar, as well as bigger energy bills, fertiliser production gets hammered and carbon dioxide supply along with it, and fresh meat begins to disappear from supermarket shelves?
There will be those who say this further justifies ending reliance on gas, but most people don’t think like that, least of all those on the margins already facing the prospect of higher National Insurance and lower Universal Credit.
During and after last week’s Scottish Parliament debate of the future of the Cambo oil and gas field off Shetland, there were desperate claims about hammering nails in the world’s coffin and fuelling poverty if it is exploited, but as Russia tightens gas supplies at a time of rising energy demand from economic recovery, it’s working people here who are going to feel the pinch first.
High prices are caused by diminishing supply and rising demand and while there is demand, the means to keep it affordably supplied should be a government priority. The day after the last comfortably-off Cop26 delegate flies home, millions of British homes will still need to be heated.