Shale “incompatible” with UK climate change goals

Green groups have reacted with dismay to news today that the UK is likely to go ahead with shale gas extraction. A report given to DECC today recommends several measures […]

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By Tom Gibson

Green groups have reacted with dismay to news today that the UK is likely to go ahead with shale gas extraction. A report given to DECC today recommends several measures to mitigate the risks of seismic tremors from hydraulic fracturing, or ‘fracking’, but some are warning the implications of allowing the process to go ahead will have a wider impact.

Jenny Banks, energy policy officer at WWF-UK said the need for more gas was unnecessary: “The idea that gas is the solution to climate change is a myth put out by vested interests. What you’ll never hear from industry or government is that replacing all the coal we currently use for power generation with gas would leave greenhouse emissions six times too high.”

REA Chief Executive Gaynor Hartnell warned that pursuing shale would have a negative impact on clean energy: “Before the Government pins its hopes on shale gas, it should look at all the potential implications, not just whether it can be extracted without causing mini earth tremors.  There is no justification for this to undermine the case for renewables.

“The overall impression is that the Government risks getting distracted by other potential options such as nuclear, carbon capture & storage and now shale gas.”

The report, released by a Government-backed panel today effectively gave fracking the green light after it was banned a year ago, following minor earthquakes in Blackpool.