Setback for shale

Scientific research has called for a moratorium on shale gas development on environmental grounds. The report from climate change researchers at the Tyndall Centre demonstrates how shale extraction risks contaminating […]

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By Tom Gibson

Scientific research has called for a moratorium on shale gas development on environmental grounds.

The report from climate change researchers at the Tyndall Centre demonstrates how shale extraction risks contaminating ground and surface waters, which the researchers label as “a big risk”.

According to the research: “the argument that shale gas should be exploited as a transitional fuel in the move to a low carbon economy seems tenuous at best” as in the UK there is little evidence of shale substituting coal.

The report concludes that in an energy-dependent world, any new fossil fuel resource will only lead to additional carbon emissions.

Professor Kevin Anderson at the Tyndall Centre and the University of Manchester said: “If we are serious in our commitment to avoid dangerous climate change, the only safe place for shale gas remains in the ground.”

Those at the Tyndal Centre say that the introduction of shale increases the risk its use will delay the introduction of renewable energy alternatives.