March 5, 2011
UK government confirm country is facing oil shock
Britain is facing a 1970s-style oil price shock that could cost the UK economy £45bn over two years, the climate and energy secretary, Chris Huhne, is expected to warn in his first intervention on the issue since the start of Middle East political crisis.
In Thursday's keynote speech on the impact of the oil crisis, Huhne argued that an $100 (£61) a barrel price for oil transforms the economics of climate change in Britain.
The speech is an attempt to galvanise public support for tough measures to create a green economy, after recent setbacks including attacks on the science of climate change and stalled international negotiations. .
The speech could also be seen as an attempt to burnish the coalition's green credentials after months in which the Department for Transport has declared an end to the war on the motorist.
The government is due to finish consulting on 10 March on a major shakeup of the energy sector with its electricity market reform, which Huhne has previously said would lead to a "seismic shift" towards cleaner energy.