Most people support renewables over oil and gas, as the UK approves extraction at its largest untapped oilfield

As UK regulators approved Rosebank, the North Sea’s largest untapped oilfield, new polling released today reveals that only 1 in 10 UK adults think that more oil will reduce energy bills.

In backing the decision, Energy Security Minister Claire Coutinho said that Rosebank ‘’will enable us to have greater energy independence, making us more secure against tyrants like Putin’’.

But when asked which energy source would best serve the UK’s energy security, 56% chose more renewables, with just 8% picking more oil, gas and coal.

A similar majority sees green energy as key to cheaper bills, with 53% backing renewables to reduce UK energy bills, and just 10% choosing oil, gas and coal.

The polling, conducted by YouGov for Global Witness, demonstrates that despite a relentless wave of attacks on climate action, the UK public overwhelmingly prefer new renewables to fossil fuels.

A plurality, 42%, prefer to wind down North Sea oil and gas production, with just 33% preferring to exploit all economically viable supplies.

Dominic Kavakeb, co-director of campaigns at Global Witness, said:

‘’The public are clear, even if the government is not: new oilfields like Rosebank won’t make the UK safer, and they won’t lower energy bills.

By a large margin, the UK public want to see more renewables, not more oil and gas.

The government claims that Rosebank will strengthen our energy security, but the vast majority will be exported onto global markets.

Approving Rosebank is an act of economic vandalism that only serves the fossil fuel industry and is woefully out of touch with public opinion’’.

Notes to editors:

 All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc.  Total sample size was 2,244 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 25th - 26th September 2023.  The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all UK adults (aged 18+).