A host of environmental groups have joined forces to urge the government to reconsider its support for fracking.
Organisations including Campaign to Protect Rural England, Greenpeace, Frack Free United and WWF, have written an open letter to Energy Secretary Greg Clark requesting answers on the climate impact of fracking on the UK’s commitments to the Paris agreement.
The Scottish Parliament recently backed Scotland’s plans to ban fracking but Prime Minister Theresa May yesterday insisted it is good for the UK and confirmed the government will be setting out further proposals to support it.
The letter states climate change is the “most urgent and complex threat” to the British countryside today and fracking “risks undermining further deployment” of renewables and energy efficiency measures and jeopardises progress towards carbon reduction.
Steve Mason from Frack Free United adds: “Giving the final sign-off for fracking to start is a crucial decision for the Secretary of State and we urge him to consider it very carefully before he puts pen to paper. It is a decision that will affect communities across the country and future generations to come.
“The development of a new extreme fossil fuel industry across England would have negative and far-reaching consequences for local communities, the environment, public health, climate change and our future energy strategy.”
The government said it is “committed” to ensuring the UK has secure energy supplies that are reliable, affordable and clean.
A BEIS spokesperson added: “As part of this, shale gas has the potential to be a home-grown energy source which can lead to jobs and economic growth, contribute to our security of supply and help us achieve our climate change objectives.
“We have been clear that shale development in the UK must be safe and environmentally sound and we have a strong regulatory system in place.”
Yesterday, an independent review commissioned by the government revealed consumers pay too much for energy as a result of green taxes.