Offshore Energies UK (OEUK) has thrown down the gauntlet to every candidate standing in the 4 July General Election to back UK-based energy firms and their workers.

The trade body’s newly released manifesto — Unleash our potential. Power our future — calls on all candidates to choose a homegrown energy transition.

It also asks them to engage with offshore energy companies and their workers across the UK ahead of launching party manifestos.

“Stable, long-term policies that enable fair returns are critical to ensure UK firms and their people can compete in the global race for energy investment,” OEUK said in a statement on 30 May.

The body, which represents the operations, supply chains, and employees of over 400 companies in the oil and gas, wind, hydrogen and carbon capture technology sectors, says over £200bn can be unlocked and ploughed into our energy future this decade.

However, this will only happen if “firms, skilled people and capital stay here in the UK”.

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OEUK argues that a successful energy transition is one “delivered with people and communities, not done to people and communities”.

David Whitehouse, OEUK CEO, said in the statement: “The UK’s offshore energy industry employs people in almost every parliamentary constituency, from Shetland to Southampton.

“As candidates hit the campaign trail, we challenge them to back this sector and its workers so we can have a homegrown energy transition.”

The body’s manifesto calls for a “homegrown energy transition that protects UK jobs, communities and our energy security whilst spurring economic growth”.

“We need both oil and gas and renewables in an integrated system to protect the UK’s energy needs, said Whitehouse, adding that the UK will still be “reliant on oil and gas for decades to come”.

As such, it makes sense to prioritise homegrown production, with no “prizes for simply importing our energy and exporting our jobs.”.

According to Whitehouse, decarbonisation the UK economy should be seen as “a huge opportunity” and candidates at this election “have an obligation to engage with industry on how we will plan and finance our energy future.”

The trade body has been critical of the current government’s oil and gas windfall tax, with oil and gas profits now taxed at 35% until March 2029.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak announced an election for early July last week, endeding months of speculation over its timing. All 650 seats in parliament are up for election.

The Conservative government has pulled back on some aspects of its net zero strategy recently, with Sunak promising multiple new exploration licences.

Sir Keir Starmer’s Labour Party, which currently holds a sizeable lead in the polls, has stated it would increase the windfall tax to 38%.

It would also create a state-owned entity, Great British Energy, as a way to channel investments aimed at energy security and energy transition.

Despite the UK’s push towards renewables, in 2022 most of the primary energy consumed came from fossil fuels, at 78.4%, a fall from the 87.2% seen in 2012.