Greens call out undemocratic fracking plans
May 13, 2015
Local Green politicians today expressed their “grave concerns” with Treasury policy on fracking, as a letter from Minister Damian Hinds failed to deny that final decisions on fracking schemes could be taken out of the hands of local authorities.
In the letter, Treasury minister Damian Hinds stated that shale gas is a “bridging fuel to a greener future”, a remark that Greens have said is “deeply misleading”. Greens point to research from the Tyndall Centre that reveals extraction of shale gas for energy production will in fact mean the UK is unable to meet the target it agreed in Paris to keep temperature rise from climate change below 2° celsius .
The letter was received by Caroline Lucas MP, Keith Taylor MEP and leader of the Brighton and Hove Green Councillors Phelim Mac Cafferty, in response to concerns the three Green politicians had raised regarding fracking policy. Read the full letter here: fracking letter and the Government’s response here: Fracking Letter Reply
In 2012, Brighton & Hove City Council passed a motion put forward by Green Councillor Alex Phillips designating Brighton & Hove as a frack-free zone. Greens have consistently called for investment in renewable energy to be increased substantially above existing levels to bring about a green energy revolution in the UK.
Caroline Lucas MP said:
“It’s deeply troubling that the Government is planning to take these decisions out of local communities hands. We know that the local environment is put at risk from fracking – whether it’s through water pollution, the movement of trucks or gas flaring.
“The bottom line is that fracking is the front line when it comes to the battling against climate change. By saying yes to fracking we would embrace an entirely new fossil fuel industry that utterly undermines our efforts to cut carbon emissions.”
Councillor Phelim Mac Cafferty said:
“The prospect of final decisions on fracking schemes being taken out of the hands of local authorities is extremely worrying for local communities across Sussex and Brighton and Hove. Councils could well become powerless to prevent fracking schemes, despite knowing full well they could harm their local areas.
“We will continue to fight for local government and the communities they serve to retain final say on fracking schemes. We are not reassured by empty promises by the Government on the safety of fracking. Even a cast-iron guarantee against contamination does not change the fact that continued exploitation of fossil fuels will increase climate change. This is a no-win scenario, which could be entirely avoided if the government had the will to invest in renewable energy sources.”