In the past few minutes, the Scottish Parliament has voted in favour of a ban on fracking.
After a two-and-a-half hour debate, a majority of MSPs voted in favour of a Labour amendment calling for an outright ban on fracking to meet Scotland’s climate change goals and to protect the environment. SNP members abstained.
The vote was 32 in favour, 29 against and 62 abstentions.
The amendment is not a binding policy.
An amendment by the Green Party which said unconventional gas extraction was incompatible with Scotland’s low carbon ambitions was also passed. That vote was 32 in favour, 30 against and 61 abstentions.
A motion by the ruling SNP was amended with Labour’s amendment and also passed. SNP members again abstained.
During the debate, Labour’s Claudia Beamish said:
“We must say no to fracking. No ifs, no buts, no fracking. Fracking is just another fossil fuel and we don’t need it.”
SNP members said the party was “deeply sceptical” about fracking. They argued that a ban would be challenged by fracking companies if it were introduced before a research programme and public consultation were completed later this year.
Energy minister, Paul Wheelhouse, said only the SNP had promised to make a decision on fracking based on evidence and public opinion.
The people of Scotland will have the benefit of the most substantial body of scientific evidence when the final decision is made, he said.
How MSPs voted?
Scottish parliamentarians voted on party lines in all the decisions. Labour and the Greens voted for a ban or in opposition to fracking. The SNP MSPs abstained. The Conservatives voted against a ban.
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