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Humber in line for share of £20bn carbon capture pot – local MP approves but opinion divided

Humber Bridge

The MP for Cleethorpes has welcomed the plan for the Humber region to become a high-tech carbon capture and storage site.

The Prime Minister unveiled his latest plans for the environment on a visit to Aberdeenshire yesterday, where he announced Government support for new future oil and gas licensing rounds as well as backing for two further carbon capture and storage (CCS) projects – the Acorn project in Aberdeenshire and the Viking project in the Humber.

The two new projects will be the third and fourth such carbon capture schemes to receive Government backing, with Sunak saying they would help see the UK “speeding our path to net zero.”

The Government has pledged up to £20bn of funding for early deployment of CCS, which Sunak described as “new technology that Britain can lead the world in.”

Local Conservative MP Martin Vickers told Lincs FM Radio: “The announcement by the Prime Minister that the Viking Carbon Capture project is confirmed as one of the government-recognised clusters is good news for northern Lincolnshire and the wider Humber region with a potential for thousands of jobs both direct and in the supply chain.

“When I go into the local colleges and the agencies that do training for the offshore sector you can see there’s a real enthusiasm amongst the young people, they get the issues surrounding the environment and they get that we’ve got to make progress.

“There is an acceptance that we’ve got to reduce our carbon emissions. And the East Coast particularly the Humber region is ideally geographically located to capture the carbon and pump it. It’s good news for the environment, business and jobs.”

Not everyone was so supportive of Sunak’s new plans. Chris Skidmore, the Conservative MP who led a review for the government into net zero said: “It is on the wrong side of a future economy that will be founded on renewable and clean industries, and not fossil fuels.

“It is on the wrong side of modern voters who will vote with their feet at the next general election for parties that protect, and not threaten, our environment. And it is on the wrong side of history, that will not look favourably on the decision taken today.”

Mike Childs, head of policy at environmental charity Friends of the Earth, said the Government needed to “focus on energy efficiency and the UK’s vast home-grown renewable resources, rather than championing more costly and dirty fossil fuels.”

Harbour Energy is the operator of the Humber based carbon capture site.

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