The business secretary is drafting the previous UK boss of BP onto the board of his division, underlining the shifting of presidency priorities in direction of Britain’s energy security following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Sky News has learnt that the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) will announce this week that Peter Mather, who left the oil large on the finish of final year, is being appointed as a non-executive director.
Mr Mather’s appointment will come six months after Kwasi Kwarteng, the business secretary, requested officers to kick off a seek for a board member who would champion the division’s web zero coverage aims.
The change of emphasis within the position displays Boris Johnson’s dedication to make energy independence a central component of the subsequent section of his premiership.
Mr Kwarteng mentioned: “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 sit up for working with him, and the remainder of our board, to ship on our energy security objectives and to supercharge our use of low-cost, clear renewables.”
Part of Mr Mather’s brief will include the UK’s transition to a low-carbon economy, a Whitehall source said on Wednesday, although they acknowledged that the focus had switched to energy security since Vladimir Putin’s decision to declare war on Ukraine.
As a consequence of that, Britain announced plans earlier this month to phase out Russian oil imports by the end of the year.
A new energy security strategy prioritising renewable and domestically generated sources was being targeted for launch this week, but is reported to have been delayed amid funding disagreements between Number 10 and the Treasury.
Mr Mather is one of the most prominent executives in the British energy industry.
He was BP’s UK head of country and regional president for Europe for more than a decade, and has remained as chair of the company’s European supervisory board.
Mr Mather has also served on government councils focused on issues such as Jet Zero, hydrogen and carbon capture usage and storage.
A government source said it was likely that Mr Mather’s appointment would anger green campaigners.
“We know this can rile the Extinction Rebellion crowd, however we’d like business and business experience within the constructing to assist us enhance energy security and enhance renewables to deliver down energy payments,”
“Those calling for us to show off the faucets within the North Sea in a single day and distance ourselves from the business live in an alternate universe and don’t have any respect for folks’s jobs or energy payments.”