Hundreds of people are expected to protest near a fracking site in Lancashire that was given the green light by the government this week. The Lancashire Responds rally on Saturday is the first shot across the bows of Cuadrilla, in what anti-fracking groups and local residents say will be a sustained campaign of action to stop the company fracking next year. Environmentalists said they were considering a series of “rolling blockades” to dog and delay the shale company in setting up its rigs at the Preston New Road site on the Fylde.
Guardian 7th Oct 2016 read more »
The Government has been accused of ignoring its own climate change experts in order to allow the “fracking floodgates to open across the country”. Communities Secretary Sajid Javid decided to allow fracking for shale gas to take place at a site in Lancashire, overruling the county council which had refused a planning application. Mr Javid went further with the planning report saying he believed fracking “could help to achieve lower carbon emissions and help meet [the UK’s] climate change target” and that “the emissions likely to arise [from the Lancashire fracking wells] would be entirely reasonable and fully justified.” However environmentalists pointed to a report published this year by the Committee on Climate Change, set up to advise the Government. It concluded that fracking “on a significant scale is not compatible with UK climate targets” unless a number of conditions were met. These included ensuring that British fracked gas replaced imports, rather than increasing the total supply, and making sure this new source of energy did not displace low-carbon energy. The Government insisted it was already or would meet all the conditions in the event of fracking taking off in the UK. But Hannah Martin, a campaigner with Greenpeace, said: “The Committee on Climate Change said that fracking would be incompatible with meeting its climate targets unless the Government set out how it would meet tough new standards on emissions. “The Government has so far been silent on how it intends to meet these conditions. In an email to The Independent, Professor Jim Watson, director of the UK Energy Research Centre, said the Government was right to say shale gas “could” help to achieve lower carbon emissions, but wrong when it said they “would” do so. “The impact on emissions depends when shale is produced and how it is used,” he said. “If gas replaces a more high carbon source of energy, there will be a net reduction in emissions. But most of the coal-to-gas switching has already been done in the UK. “In principle, shale gas could have lower emissions on a life-cycle basis than other sources of gas if it is tightly regulated – but that is not the same as gas in general being a good route for reducing emissions.”
Independent 6th Oct 2016 read more »
A renowned economist who helped persuade the world to start taking climate change seriously has warned the global economy could “self-destruct” if countries fail to ditch fossil fuels and embrace a clean, green, high-tech future. Professor Lord Nicholas Stern was credited with bringing about a sea change in attitudes when he calculated the cost of failing to tackle the problem in 2006. While dealing with global warming would cost one per cent of the world’s gross domestic product, doing nothing would be up to 20 times more expensive, he concluded. Now Professor Stern, former Mexican president, Felipe Calderon, and other leading figures from politics, finance and science have launched a major new report saying Governments and businesses must change course – and quickly. “The challenge is urgent: the investment choices we make even over the next two to three years will start to lock in for decades to come either a climate-smart, inclusive growth pathway, or a high-carbon, inefficient and unsustainable pathway,” said the report by The Global Commission on the Economy and Climate.
Independent 6th Oct 2016 read more »