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Ministers are set to maneuver extra civil servants out of London, together with relocating 200 officers from the division accountable for tackling local weather change to a brand new workplace in Aberdeen, the British oil and gasoline capital.
The plans might be unveiled subsequent week by Deputy Prime Minister Oliver Dowden as a part of a wider announcement on decentralization of the civil service, in accordance with individuals accustomed to the plan.
Dowden can be anticipated to switch a variety of different civil servants to Wales and increase the enterprise division’s Darlington outpost in northeast England, the place the Treasury additionally has a serious presence, the individuals mentioned.
The transfer of officers from the Division for Vitality Safety and Internet Zero to Aberdeen in Scotland comes as Rishi Sunak’s authorities has sought to spice up investor confidence in North Sea oil.
Sunak’s authorities has toned down its net-zero coverage in latest months and stepped up its rhetoric in regards to the significance of conserving domestically produced fossil fuels within the medium time period.
The Prime Minister used the King’s Speech final month to pressure the vitality regulator to hold out annual licensing rounds within the North Sea basin.
Whereas Sunak insists he has dedicated to slicing carbon emissions to zero by 2050, he has additionally rolled again a number of inexperienced targets, together with the longer term ban on oil boilers and restrictions on petrol and diesel automobiles.
Greenpeace coverage director Doug Parr mentioned locations like Aberdeen wanted an “pressing plan” to transition to scrub vitality.
“Sadly, based mostly on Rishi Sunak’s efficiency so far, this transfer is prone to sign the precise reverse,” he mentioned.
Division of Vitality Security officers mentioned the choice to open the Aberdeen workplace mirrored the significance not solely of oil producers, but in addition of the fast-growing offshore wind business.
The North Sea Transition Authority and the Internet Zero Know-how Heart each have already got a base within the metropolis. DESNZ already has a restricted presence in Aberdeen with officers working for the Offshore Petroleum Regulator for Setting and Decommissioning, one of many quangos
Ministers see transferring state jobs north of the border as an essential a part of strengthening the ‘union’ between England and Scotland.
The Cupboard Workplace mentioned: “We don’t touch upon hypothesis.”
The federal government is already greater than midway to its goal of transferring 22,000 civil service jobs outdoors London by 2030, below a program referred to as ‘locations for development’, which is designed to help ministers’ leveling up insurance policies to handle regional financial disparities.
But between 2010 and 2021, there was a web improve of 15,401 civil servants in London and a web lower of 58,005 within the different areas, the Monetary Instances beforehand reported.
The rise within the variety of civil servants in London was partly as a result of improve in policy-making roles within the capital coping with Brexit after which Covid-19.
The Aberdeen Chamber of Commerce mentioned the transfer was “implausible information” for a metropolis that employs round 45,000 individuals within the offshore vitality sector.
It “will place the division in shut proximity to a sector present process an thrilling, but difficult, transition,” says Ryan Crighton, director of coverage on the Aberdeen & Grampian Chamber of Commerce.
Crighton added that it “made good sense for vitality officers to find within the North East”.