CLIMATE groups and activists have delivered a petition to No 10 calling on the UK Government to halt approval of Jackdaw – a new North Sea gas oil field owned by Shell. 

The hand-in coincides with new analysis which shows that UK gas power now costs nine times more than new UK renewable energy. 

Ofgem is set to announce the new energy price cap on Friday. Households are preparing for a forecast 80% increase in bills with analysts Cornwall Insight suggesting average costs could reach over £4500 in January. 

Both Conservative leadership candidates have promised to drive up North Sea gas production should they be elected prime minister. 

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Raeeka Yassaie from Stop Cambo said: “It makes absolutely no sense to be spending taxpayers’ money to develop this new gas field, when the energy we get from it is out of our price range and significantly more expensive than the alternative, which is renewable energy. 

“The government needs to see sense and change course. It needs to stand up to the oil and gas giants for the sake of billpayers, taxpayers and the climate.

“Approving Jackdaw only benefits Shell, while saddling the people of the UK with just a tiny bit more gas that we can’t afford. We need more affordable energy, which anyone can see is now renewables.”

Campaigners have pointed out that increasing domestic gas production will not help lower UK energy bills as the price is set internationally. 

The petition has been signed by more than 60,000 people and organisations including, Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth Scotland and Stop Cambo. 

It was handed in on Thursday at 10am and is part of a week of action against Shell’s Jackdaw gas field involving thousands of activists who have been contacting MPs, running street stalls and attending local protests.

Philip Evans, oil and gas transition campaigner for Greenpeace UK, said: “Gas is now a staggering nine times more expensive than renewables, and we know it wrecks the planet. 

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“So it’s absolutely unfathomable that the government is so fixated on gas, when what’s needed for households and for the climate are genuine solutions. 

“If the government keeps approving new fossil fuel projects like Jackdaw it should ready itself for a struggle every step of the way, from the protests we’ve seen this week to the courtroom.

“The Government must stop Jackdaw and instead tackle energy waste from draughty homes and give us cheap, clean power.”

A UK Government spokesperson said: “There will continue to be ongoing demand for oil and gas over the coming years as we transition to clean, affordable, home-grown energy – this ensures we protect British energy security, jobs and industries, without becoming more dependent on foreign imports.”