Friends of the Earth Scotland welcomed this afternoon’s announcement by the Scottish Government to extend indefinitely the moratorium on fracking. But the organisation said it would be pushing for a stronger law.
The organisation said:
“Today’s decision is a truly momentous win for the anti-fracking movement, as Scotland joins the ever-growing list of states and regions to outlaw the industry.
“It will be met with celebration and relief across the country, particularly by those on the frontline of fracking here in Scotland who have been working for a ban these last 6 years. It will also be met with cheers around the world, in the many countries and communities who have supported our struggle, many of whom are still fighting their own.
“In his statement to Parliament this afternoon Energy Minister Paul Wheelhouse said that the existing moratorium would be extended indefinitely using planning and environmental regulation powers to effectively ban the fracking industry.
“It fell short of committing to passing a law like recent bans in Ireland, Victoria and Maryland, when powers over onshore oil and gas licensing are finally handed over by Westminster. The measures announced today are the right interim approach, however we will be pushing them to go further and pass a law as soon as licensing powers are technically transferred to Holyrood.”
Our Forth Against Unconventional Gas
“Our Forth welcomes the indefinite moratorium on fracking in Scotland and the Scottish Government is to be congratulated on listening to the people of Scotland. However we believe this decision is also a missed opportunity.
“In the consultation Our Forth argued for a total ban. Fracking, coal bed methane and underground coal gasification have huge impacts on health and the natural environment. They also run counter to any plan to reduce carbon emissions as part of a long-term energy strategy designed to tackle the climate crisis. A continuing moratorium leaves open the possibility that fracking may happen in the future and will continue to create uncertainty for communities across the central belt and in South West Scotland.
“Our Forth pledges to continue to campaign against all forms of Unconventional Gas Extraction until such times as the Scottish Government introduces a total ban and will scrutinise the progress the Scottish Government makes towards an outright ban which the Scottish people so clearly demands. In addition Our Forth stands in solidarity with local communities in England and around the world who are fighting to prevent fracking in their local areas. We will continue to support their campaigns until the threat of fracking is removed.”
Huge win – Greenpeace UK
Elisabeth Whitebread, Energy Campaigner at Greenpeace UK, said:
“The Scottish Government ban on fracking is a huge win for thousands of people who have campaigned against fracking for six years. Unlike Westminster, Holyrood is listening to public opinion. We already have more gas than we can afford to burn, and as well as damaging the climate, fracking will cause local noise, air and light pollution.
“By announcing an outright ban on this new fossil fuel industry in Scotland, and using a fair process to reach their decision, the SNP Government is leading the way towards the clean energy system that people want. The Conservative Government in Westminster is now alone in backing fracking and looks very isolated indeed. Across England, growing numbers of local people will continue to oppose fracking and the failure of democracy on this issue. The Conservatives in Westminster should stop chasing fracked gas, that we don’t need, and that the overwhelming majority don’t want.”