Shale gas “not compatible with decarbonisation targets” – Welsh planning policy

south wales licences OGA

Onshore oil and gas exploration licences in south Wales. Map: UK Onshore Geophysical Library

The Welsh government restated its commitment today to moving away from fossil fuel extraction and consumption.

In a revised version of the country’s planning policy, the Welsh government said:

“The continued extraction of fossil fuels will hinder progress towards achieving overall commitments to tackling climate change.”

181204 Planning Policy WalesIn Planning Policy Wales, the government said it was committed to reducing reliance on energy generated from fossil fuels:

“The Welsh Government has set challenging targets for decarbonisation and increased renewable energy generation.

“The continued extraction of all fossil fuels, including shale gas, coalbed methane and underground coal gasification, are not compatible with those targets.

“The Welsh Government’s policy objective is therefore to avoid the continued extraction and consumption of fossil fuels.”

The document said companies proposing extraction of onshore oil and gas in Wales would need to provide “robust and credible evidence” of how it would contribute to decarbonising the energy system.

The planning system should take precautionary action to prevent Wales being ‘locked in’ to further fossil fuel extraction and high carbon development, the document added

Several historic onshore oil and gas licences have been issued in Wales, mainly in the south-east and along the border with Cheshire.

But the document says “no significant oil and gas production has been undertaken”.

The Welsh government assumed responsibility for onshore oil and gas licensing on 1 October 2018. In July 2018, the Welsh government said its preferred policy was not to support applications for fracking or to undertake any new petroleum licensing in Wales.

Today’s document restated the Notification Direction, which means local authorities cannot approve planning applications for unconventional oil and gas, including fracking, without Welsh Ministers’ approval.

“Historic moment”

Haf Elgar, Director of Friends of the Earth Cymru described the publication of today’s document as an “historic moment for Wales” and continued:

“As David Attenborough told world leaders at the UN climate change talks this week, climate change is our greatest threat, and time is running out. This new policy is a positive sign that the Welsh Government is taking this threat seriously.

“A fossil free future is the only future for Wales – and the rest of the planet. People in Wales are proud that their country is taking the lead, and hope that other countries follow our example. The whole world must embrace a positive future of renewable energy and sustainable development to build a cleaner, safer future for us all.”

Tony Bosworth, fossil-free campaigner at Friends of the Earth, called for the Westminster Government to follow Wales’ lead:

“The Westminster Government needs to accept that fossil fuel extraction is incompatible with fighting climate change. Instead it is pushing fracking, refusing to call time on coal, and bogging down new wind energy projects with harsh planning rules.

“It’s time to consign coal to the history books and to end fracking. The government must prioritise renewable energy and helping people make their homes more energy efficient.”


79 replies »

  1. If not compatible then stop using it. If you get black out then tough luck. And if the industry and economy collapse then oh well more tough luck.

    • Or use a better source of energy?
      Lovely quote from Egan in Business Lancashire this week:
      ‘while the volumes of gas returning to the surface at this stage are small’…..so there you have it Lads and Lassies; from the donkey’s mouth – gonna have to really shake rattle and roll to try again; no wonder AJ Lucas investors are sweating……

  2. “Interior Minister Christophe Castaner said he expected fewer protesters than last weekend, perhaps about 10,000 nationwide.

    “Ten thousand is not the people – it’s not France,” he said.
    From the BBC report of the weekend protest in France against fuel carbon tax hikes.

    To put it in the context of 8000+ signed petition and claims of 500+ protesters against fracking. If tens of thousands is not considered the view of the people of France then clearly less than 500 does not represent the majority.

    • So TW as you may not understand the subtleties of our country; France has a very different history to the UK. Here we are polite and direct our grievances through the ‘proper channels’; in France they use Madame Guillotine!
      Interior Minister – sounds like something out of 1984, will of course play it down….that’s his job.
      Again, France are rebelling against the policies of Macron [austerity] not the carbon taxes, which had already been planned. There is only so much money to go around, although some think most of it belongs to them, so many in France are already on the bread line, hence the explosion of activity……
      So in the ‘context’ of 8000+ signatures, for apathetic Britain, who voted in the government with a measly turnout and even leaner votes, 8000+ is amazing.

            • Do try to rise up above the owned press headlines kishy, actually try looking at the real reasons for once, rather than cherry picking something that adheres to your own personal propaganda agenda.

              The real world reason why Paris braces for riots as protests sweep France is inequality of representation between the rich and the poor kishy, Ordinary working people find themselves at the thin end of the stick, working hard and getting increasingly penalised and marginalised out of being anything but barely surviving wage slaves, the agenda of the Macron imposed NWO policies.

              The French people are fed up with rising tax penalties on the poor and increasing tax concessions for the rich, the carbon tax on fuel is only one issue. one of the issues id increasing taxes on diesel fuel, that will not bother the rich, they can buy hybrids and electric when they want, but for services and transport, that is a tax on goods and a tax on anyone still stuck with a diesel vehicle and not able to change. The increase in transport costs will have a knock on effect on every produce in France. That is a tax on the poor.

              It is always curious that rather than changing the methods of such things as the efficiency of transport systems such as introducing a more efficient engine or changing all the engines in the transport system, or in this case, the use of diesel vehicles, governments always try to “change the goalposts” by increasing taxes on the “offending item”.

              In other words all governments do is to profiteer off the issue in question, we see that in all aspects of government, isolate an issue and exploit it to make more tax revenue, and where does that increased tax income go? On better more efficient transport systems?

              No, it goes into the government coffers to make the government and its hangers on and paymasters even richer and enables them to wave the green flag as if they have actually done anything to reduce the carbon footprint of the country?

              In other words, increasing taxes for the poor and making tax concessions for the rich, is just another government corruption get rich scheme to rip off the public yet again.

              The main point is that Macron simultaneously reduced tax for the rich, that was the tax concession that broke the back of Macron’s Rothschild planted globalist aspirations.

              Crush and pauperise the poor and suck up to the rich with tax breaks for them only.

              And where do we see that same process happening? Right here of course.

              Expect to see increasing carbon taxes on fuel here too, and that will make the same pressures on poor people in UK.


              “Emmanuel Macron is the president of the rich”

              Carbon taxes are a smoke screen to hide the fact that nothing is being done technically to change the carbon footprint of a country, because that requires a massive shift in the infrastructure to move from fossil fuels to renewables, and the strangle hold of the fossil fuel paymasters will never let that happen, and the corrupt government will lose their support from their paymasters.

              So they carry out the usual smoke screen to appear to be doing something, but what they are really doing is to profiteer of the process and not make any actual structural changes to the infrastructure at all, it just pauperises the poor to pay for the rich tax concessions.

              That has always been the underlying cause for the get rich quick carbon tax scam, and it is a patent lie, which is why the French people, who are more demonstrable than the dumbed down brainwashed English, will stand up and say so, as they are doing.

              The other issue that further complicates the situation, is that extreme left and right wing forces will exploit that to the fullest from both sides, not just the protesters, those in government will and have exploited such a free gift for their own agendas, and we see that the media efforts to show only that aspect, not the truth, and that results in your original and subsequent comments kishy.

              Clear now?

  3. Great post Phil C…

    The goal is lower CO2, save the planet…

    Being signed up to the Paris climate agreement does not automatically make your Country achieve this aim. A rough analogy is just by signing up to weight watchers someone will be guaranteed to lose weight…

    I refer to one of your points…

    In other words all governments do is to profiteer off the issue in question

    Look at America


    Support the Shale Industry, lower CO2 emissions, lower taxes on people… win win…


    Increase taxes on people, increase CO2 emissions… lose lose…


    The very striking image of mass protesters in PARIS being dispersed by diesel guzzling military vehicles makes you laugh or cry…

    The next climate agreement should take place in Paris sooner rather than later…

    But not Paris France…

    But Paris Texas where positive climate change is a reality and not some policy to allow green gangsters make money justifying putting people on a guilt trip claiming to save the planet…

  4. I see you still struggle with the fundamentals Kisheny … regarding “Support the Shale Industry, lower CO2 emissions, lower taxes on people” … is a complete myth. Besides the UK is on its last lap of coal fired generation. CO2 reduction has applied for a while in the USA while they decommissioned their oldest, dirtiest coal-fired generators but that’s as far as it goes. What you should be saying is … ” lower (temporarily) CO2 emissions while raising CH4 emissions (a far worse ghg) and in the long run raise both CO2 and CH4 (methane) in the atmosphere.” (as the the CH4 oxidises to CO2) … lose lose.

    The Paris costs of living issues are far more complex than fuel prices. If the majors had passed on the lowered price-per-barrel to customers sooner, as they should have, I doubt if anyone would have noticed any change.

    • Philip P

      Re the majors passing down the lowered price per bbl.

      Would that be Tesco, Morissons, Sainsbury’s or the Esso station on the motorway ( a good 20p litre more than Sainsbury’s Lincoln )? Or Watson’s the fuel merchant ( Or Grimes the coal, gas and logs firm ). Ditto in France … maybe Total were slow, or Perenco ( who run WYF), or the refineries were holding the price up

      Ie, I am not sure that the majors have a lot to say in the issue, rather the refinery and at point of sale have a bearing. But it is certainly all about fuel,for transport, and the public would have noticed come the next trip to $80 a bbl ( ameliorated by US fracking maybe ).

    • “The biggest drop came from the United States, where carbon dioxide emissions fell 3%, or 160 million tonnes, while the economy grew by 1.6%. The decline was driven by a surge in shale gas supplies and more attractive renewable power that displaced coal. Emissions in the United States last year were at their lowest level since 1992, a period during which the economy grew by 80%.”


      New technology coming online all the time…

      Methane capture


      Carbon Capture storage…


      No more piped Gas or LNG imports

      CCGT producing enough electricity to displace petrol and diesel from the U.K energy mix…

      Electric vehicles and CNG trucks the norm…

      Air quality levels in the U.K incredible

      U.K Shale Gas… The future…

      • The analysis is far from complete Kisheny. The recent upswing in global CO2 is mysterious (since that EiD report). Everyone blames China etc but hasn’t factored in the oxidising methane from over 10 years of accelerated shale developments since 2008 – adding to the CO2 sum along the way, not to mention the significant amount of CO2 from flaring etc (as mentioned in the MIT report … I wouldn’t bother with Energy in Depth, they’re a PR/Propaganda arm of the FF industry). Then the methane emissions are a big deal in themselves. That’s why the FF industry wants you to only focus solely on CO2.

        Sources of methane after a few years in the atmosphere will be so mixed globally it is impossible to tell their origin. That’s what the job of new satellite sensors will be – to help identify sources, top-down, more or less in real time.

        UK Shale – no future.

        • The Guardian seems to have figured it out Philip P:

          “The rise is due to the growing number of cars on the roads and a renaissance of coal use and means the world remains on the track to catastrophic global warming. ”


          “The Global Carbon Budget, produced by 76 scientists from 57 research institutions in 15 countries, found the major drivers of the 2018 increase were more coal-burning in China and India as their economies grew, and more oil used in more transport. Industry also used more gas. Renewable energy grew rapidly, but not enough to offset the increased use of fossil fuel.

          “There was hope China was rapidly moving away from coal power, but the last two years have shown it will not be so easy to say farewell quickly,” said Jan Ivar Korsbakken, at the Centre for International Climate Research in Norway.”

          Did we not say several months ago on this very BB not to trust India & China?

          Population increasing and middle classes increasing; neither are going to go away antime soon.

          • It’s a handy smokescreen Paul (for US shale) but, as said, nobody is truly tacking the carbon budget for methane and its conversion to CO2. The rate of Chinese adaptation to cleaner energy and electric vehicles is also phenomenal, but a spate of their coal generator projects slipped through the net at a period without the current restrictions.

  5. 54 million inhabitants in GB. which means 24m cars. Say 50% is an electric car, drive 133 km p/d = 30kWh is around 700million kWh per day. 4 times more then all households together.

    • There’s actually 66 million fren and rising……not sure where the 24 million cars comes from as this number is not the number of drivers or owners of vehicles?

  6. Similar subject:


    “Dozens of nations will affirm their commitment to end their coal burning on Thursday. However, the UN summit has seen US, Chinese and Japanese financial institutions cited as leaders in providing nearly $500bn in backing for new coal plants since the Paris agreement was signed.

    Another investor demand on governments is to introduce “economically meaningful” taxes on carbon. Most are below $10 per tonne, but needed to rise to up to $100 in the next decade or two, the investors said. The French president Emmanuel Macron’s botched attempt to increase fuel taxes and the gilets jaunes protests that followed were a model of how not to do it, said observers in Poland.”

  7. “Brexit has already added billions to the UK public’s energy bills and leaving without a deal could wreak further havoc and cost the average household an extra £61 a year, according to research by University College London.
    The 2016 referendum has been the “principal factor” driving up gas and electricity bills over the past two years, driven largely by the collapse in the value of the pound and additional volatility in wholesale prices, the authors said.
    As a result, households paid an extra £75 each, on average, in the year after the vote following an 18 per cent rise in wholesale electricity prices and a 16 per cent hike in gas.”

    From the Independent today.

  8. I am very sorry. My numbers are out of date indeed.
    I am only looking at the enormous amount of more electric energy required if we choose renewable energy…

    • Fren, yes, good to highlight this. Don’t worry, Greenpeas and Enemies of Industry will have a plan. Probably theplan is not to go anywhere during high pressure weather events?

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