Shift of emphasis

BP veteran to join UK government energy board

Kwasi Kwarteng (left) has appointed Peter Mather to the BEIS board

An oil industry veteran has been invited to join the Westminster government’s drive to secure the UK’s energy supplies.

Peter Mather, former UK head of country at BP, will be appointed a non-executive director at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy in a clear shift in priorities towards Britain’s energy supplies following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Mr Mather left the oil giant at the end of last year and his appointment is regarded as indicative of a softening of emphasis on green objectives.

Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng, had been seeking a board member to champion his department’s net zero policy objectives and part of Mr Mather’s brief will be tied to the net zero strategy.

But the Ukraine war and questions around oil and gas supplies has focused Prime Minister Boris Johnson on ensuring domestically-supplied oil, gas and nuclear continue to play a role in the energy mix.

Mr Kwarteng said: “In our national mission to ensure the UK’s clean energy independence, Peter’s wealth of experience in the energy industry will prove invaluable as we ​ensure our energy security into the future by boosting nuclear power and renewables in the UK.

“I look forward to working with him, and the rest of our board, to deliver on our energy security goals and to supercharge our use of cheap, clean renewables.”

Mr Mather’s appointment should have coincided with publication of a new energy security strategy but it has been delayed, allegedly because of funding disagreements between Number 10 and the Treasury.

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