'Maintaining Britain's access to secure and affordable energy supplies, while mitigating the effects of climate change, is a dual energy challenge.'
- Jack Straw MP (UK International Priorities: The Energy Strategy launch, October 2004)
Energy Security & Climate Change
The international energy challenge is to maintain access to secure and affordable energy supplies while mitigating the effects of climate change.
The United Kingdom is set to become a net importer of oil and gas in the current decade, and will be reliant on supplies from around the world. Failure in the UK's energy supplies would be felt almost immediately. A serious disruption could rapidly have serious effects on the economy, public services and security of the country.
Climate change is a serious global threat to the environment and to the global economy. The Costs if we do nothing could be enormous. Swiss Re, the world's second largest insurer, has estimated that the economic costs of global warming could double to USD150 billion each year over the next 10 years. Climate change is a global problem and requires a global solution to mitigate its eventual extent, by reducing our emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases.
To take forward the work for this Strategic Priority the Climate Change & Energy Group has been created.
The FCO works closely with Department of Trade & Industry, Department of Environment Food & Rural Affairs, No. 10 and other government departments including Department for International Development and Her Majesty's Treasury.
Energy security and climate change issues are closely linked to other foreign policy priorities, especially sustainable development (SP6) UK Economic Prosperity (SP5) and International Security (SP1).