Three environmental groups are calling on the Government to meet two key tests before jumping on the shale gas “bandwagon”.
Friends of the Earth, RSPB and WWF have written to the Energy and Climate Change Secretary Ed Davey asking to prove shale gas doesn’t affect the nation’s ability to deliver on its climate change targets and has no effect on wildlife.
They claim the regulations in place for the extraction process, known as fracking, are not adequate and the impacts are not fully understood. The process works by pumping high pressured water into tight layers of rock deep underground to extract gas.
Andy Atkins, Friends of the Earth Executive Director said: “The Government must halt shale gas drilling to properly assess the risks – including the impact on climate change. With big changes to our electricity system due in the months ahead, Energy Secretary Ed Davey must resist calls to hook the nation on polluting gas that has been the main drive of rising energy bills and instead back a switch to home-grown clean energy.”
David Nussbaum, Chief Executive of WWF-UK added: “Instead of jumping on the shale gas bandwagon, which is clearly not consistent with a low emission future, the Government must reaffirm its commitment to tackling climate change and prioritise renewables and energy efficiency.”
The organisations claim the overall climate impact of shale gas is greater than conventional gas and could be as high as that of coal.