London Mayor Sadiq Khan is urging councils to set an outright ban on fracking in the capital.
As part of a new policy in his draft London Plan, he says any applications for the exploration, appraisal or production of shale gas using fracking should be refused by boroughs.
He adds the “harmful” process can generate toxic silica dust, which can cause chronic lung damage as well as pollutants that worsen neurological problems.
The volume of water required for fracking could also lead to “public water restrictions in areas prone to water shortages as well as causing wide-ranging disruptions to local areas”, the mayor states.
Mr Khan adds: “There is absolutely no place for fracking in London and I remain firm in my belief that any such application must be refused.
“The harmful, negative impact of the use of fossil fuels on the environment and on the air we breathe is well known. We must instead focus our resources on developing technologies for the efficient extraction of clean, renewable forms of energy, rather than coming up with more ever innovative ways to keeping burning fossil fuels.”
The Scottish Parliament recently backed Scotland’s fracking ban in the country, following similar moves in Wales and Ireland, while the UK Government published proposals on how local communities can spend the money from the new £1 billion ‘Shale Wealth Fund’.