Archived press release
Press & Media
The Coalition Government was forced to retreat over its fracking plans in Parliament today following widespread concerns from MPs across the political spectrum. However, Friends of the Earth repeated its call for an outright ban, saying the concessions do not go far enough and would not prevent the current fracking applications in Lancashire.
Despite wanting to go ‘all out for shale’, the Government has been forced to agree to ban fracking in National Parks; set stricter conditions for fracking in individual areas; and has promised to introduce measures so that fracking could only go ahead if it was shown to be compatible with climate targets.
Commenting on today’s vote, Donna Hume, Energy Campaigner at Friends of the Earth, which has been leading the campaign against government fracking plans, said:
“Public opinion and increasing concern from MPs has forced the Government into retreat on fracking. Everywhere fracking is proposed, local communities say no.
“But these concessions do not go far enough. These changes would not prevent fracking getting the green light in Lancashire, despite overwhelming opposition from local communities.
“The only way to safeguard our climate, local communities and their environment from the fracking threat is to halt shale gas completely.
“Ministers should stop believing their own fracking hype and concentrate on real solutions to the energy challenges we face such as the renewable power and cutting energy waste.”
Notes to Editors
1. The Government today agreed to a fracking ban in national parks, as well as regulatory changes that include giving extra protection to ground water.
2. A leaked letter, obtained by Friends of the Earth, from Chancellor George Osborne to Cabinet colleagues reveals how closely the Government is working with the shale gas industry to ensure that controversial fracking takes off in the UK. George Osborne’s letter to the Economic Affairs Committee can be seen here.
3. The Environmental Audit Committee’s report today warns that only a very small fraction of our shale reserves can be safely burned if we are to keep global temperatures below 2 degrees. And that considerable uncertainties remain about the hazards fracking poses to groundwater quality, air quality, health and biodiversity. It points out that continually tightening carbon budgets under the Climate Change Act will have significantly curtailed the scope for fossil fuel energy by the time shale gas is likely to be commercially viable on a large scale. The report can be seen here.