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Pressure mounts on Scottish Government to halt fracking

This news post is about 9 years old

Green campaigners slam UK government stance on fracking moratorium

Environmentalists have hit out after the UK government stifled moves by cross party MPs to introduce a moratorium on unconventional gas and fracking.

In a tense series of votes on the infrastructure bill currently going through the UK parliament, the SNP and others voted for an amendment that would call a halt on the industry while work to assess its impacts is carried out - but this was defeated in the Commons.

The government's drive for shale gas should be put on hold because it would lead to more reliance on fossil fuels, thgey argued.

The cross-party committee also warned there were "huge uncertainties" about the environmental impact of fracking.

The debate on the bill came on the same day that the influential UK Environmental Audit Committee published a damning report on the impacts of shale gas fracking.

Ministers said shale gas development did not detract from cutting emissions.

It is clear that fracking is fast becoming a toxic election issue - Mary Church, FOES

Friends of the Earth Scotland head of campaigns Mary Church said the UK government demonstrated wilful disregard for the mounting evidence and increasing opposition against unconventional gas by pushing ahead with their plans to go "all out for shale".

Focus now shifts to an announcement from the Scottish Government expected this week.

“Since there won’t be a moratorium at UK level any time soon, we urge the Scottish Government to act now using existing powers to stop this unnecessary and unwelcome industry,” she said.

“Energy minister Fergus Ewing’s statement to the Scottish Parliament this week will be the crucial test of whether or not the Scottish Government is going to protect people and the climate from unconventional gas and fracking."

Church said it was now only a small step for the SNP to implement a moratorium on unconventional gas and fracking in Scotland.

“Even better, the Scottish Government should just ban this unnecessary industry altogether and focus on making the most of our abundant renewable energy resources," she added.

“The number of MPs who spoke out against fracking today is a testament to the growing, passionate and informed opposition from community groups and concerned citizens. It is clear that fracking is fast becoming a toxic election issue.”