Thousands call for fracking ban in Scotland as consultation closes

Scottish Parliament 170531 Friends of the Earth Scotland

Campaigners with a petition calling for a ban on fracking. Photo: Friends of the Earth Scotland

Campaigners said more than 40,000 people have called for a ban on fracking in response to the Scottish Government’s consultation which closes just before midnight tonight.

Opponents of unconventional gas and oil gathered outside the Scottish Parliament today, as representatives of the Broad Alliance, Friends of the Earth and 38 degrees delivered a petition with thousands of names to the Scottish Energy Minister, Paul Wheelhouse.

Scottish Parliament 170531 Friends of the Earth Scotland 2

Campaigners delivering responses to the consultation to Paul Wheelhouse (right). Photo: Friends of the Earth Scotland

The consultation, which ran for four months, will now be followed by analysis of the responses. The Scottish Government has said it will make a recommendation to MSPs before the end of the year.

Donald Campbell, Chair of the Broad Alliance, said:

“The symbolic handover by the Broad Alliance of their submission to the Consultation on Unconventional Oil and Gas is the culmination of years of dogged determination and diligent research into this method of fossil fuel extraction. The submission states unequivocally that communities across the length and breadth of the country completely reject any form of Unconventional Oil and Gas Extraction. We call on the Minister to listen to the people of Scotland and ban it completely.”

Mary Church, Head of Campaigns at Friends of the Earth Scotland, said:

“This enormous public response clearly demonstrates Scotland’s overwhelming rejection of fracking. Combined with powerful evidence of multiple health and environmental risks, and the clear conflict with our climate change plans, this reaction to the prospect of fracking in Scotland must surely convince the Minister that a full ban in law is the only reasonable way forward.

“Fracking and unconventional fossil fuel extraction threaten people’s health, our climate change targets and local economies. Opening up the central belt of Scotland to the fracking industry isn’t worth the risk to the environment and our health, nor is it worth the political risk for the SNP.”

Stewart Kirkpatrick. Head of Scotland for 38 Degrees, said:

“People across Scotland have stood up to say ‘no’ to fracking in their tens of thousands. That’s a powerful and persuasive statement from people who will have to live with the impact of fracking if it’s not banned. Analysis funded by 38 Degrees members and vast amounts of other research show that the risks of allowing fracking far outweigh whatever perceived benefits it might bring. Why on earth would we want to gamble our economy, environment and potentially people’s health on fracking?”

“Counter to Scotland’s efforts to be a world leader on climate action”

Yesterday, 11 environmental groups, representing around 150,000 people, also called for a ban on fracking and unconventional oil and gas extraction.

The groups, which included Buglife, Cairngorms Campaign, Friends of the Earth Scotland, Froglife Scotland, Nourish Scotland, Planning Democracy, RSPB Scotland, Scottish Wild Land Group, Scottish Wildlife Trust, Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust and WWF Scotland, said there were demonstrable risks to climate, environment and public health.

They argued that opening up a new source of fossil fuels, while Scotland remained committed to continued exploitation of North Sea oil and gas, would be “irresponsible and run counter to the Scottish Government’s efforts to be a world leader on climate action”.

They also stated that evidence of harmful impacts of unconventional oil and gas extraction continued to mount but the industry was “unable to demonstrate its safety in relation to impacts on human health and the environment”.

The groups were concerned that the impacts on communities had been underplayed and the Scottish Government’s evidence-gathering programme should have included a comprehensive study on environmental impacts.

Friends of the Earth response

  • DrillOrDrop reported on the response of the industry body UK Onshore Oil and Gas here

4 replies »

  1. Its unbeleivable that Friends of the Earth are still trotting out their ‘concerns’ about health and environmental issues. FoE England were unable to provide any evidence of these false claims after complaints to the Advertising Standards Authority. Why are they still making false claims?
    How many of these complainers understand the science and risks of these well understood processes.

    Perhaps we should vote cancer out of existence as well?

  2. The thing is Ken they have provoked awareness on the subject. The world is becoming switched on to the ugly realities of fracking, apart from some stubborn insistent ostrich types with their heads buried in the fossil fuel tar pits of yesteryear. Your debate with FoE over their advertising did not prove they were wrong on any single point – that battle was just about semantics.

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