Shale poses threat to UK climate commitments

Shale gas cannot become a part of the UK’s energy mix without using up a large chunk of the government’s carbon budget and risks diverting resources from green sources. This […]

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By Tom Gibson

Shale gas cannot become a part of the UK’s energy mix without using up a large chunk of the government’s carbon budget and risks diverting resources from green sources. This is according to research from the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research in Manchester.

Kevin Anderson, Professor of Energy and Climate Change at Tyndall Manchester said: “As the Government’s Committee on Climate Change make clear, for the UK to meet its binding carbon targets, electricity needs to be decarbonised by 2030 with domestic heating having moved from high carbon gas to low-carbon electricity.”

“With so little time to meet these commitments, there is no meaningful emissions allowance available for shale gas. Moreover, pursuing shale gas electricity risks displacing urgently required investments in genuinely low carbon energy supply.”

This year oil and gas company Cuadrilla Resources claimed that up to 200 trillion cubic feet of shale may lie under the Lancashire basin. According to the research, if just 20% of the reserves identified under Lancashire were to be extracted and burnt, this would result in emissions of over 2,000 million tonnes of carbon dioxide, representing around 15% of the Government’s greenhouse gas emissions budget through to 2050.

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