Twenty-nine academics have called on governments and scientists to withdraw their support for fracking because of its climate change impacts.
Writing to this morning’s Times newspaper, they say climate change is already causing extreme weather events and driving accelerated melting of ice sheets and glaciers.
The letter says a major cause is burning fossil fuels and rising methane emissions from fossil fuel extraction, particularly fracking.
This coincides with what the signatories say is a “new era of cheap, clean renewable energy and storage”.
The letter asks:
“Is it not time that our leaders and scientific community withdrew their support for fracking and engaged in the challenge of transforming our society to meet this existential challenge?”
The signatories include 12 professors attached to universities in the UK, Australia and the UK.
Some are well-known critics of fracking, including Emeritus Professor David Smythe, of Glasgow University, Professor Robert Howarth, of Cornell University and Emeritus Professor Nick Cowern, of Newcastle University.
The list also includes social entrepreneur Jeremy Leggett, who runs a solar energy company, and the environmentalist, Sir Jonathan Porritt.
Today’s letter has been supported by the campaign network, Frack Free United. It said the UK government’s backing for fracking would “only serve to increase dangerous climate-changing emissions.
A spokesperson said:
“The global climate change breakdown we currently face requires urgent action and a need to divest from fossil fuels. Fracking is not a ‘bridge’ to a carbon-neutral future: it is yet another fossil fuel cheque that our climate cannot afford to cash. We are in a climate crisis and the UK government should declare it as one.”
Earlier this month, a group of geoscientists, many with links to the oil and gas industry joined calls for a review of the rules on fracking-induced seismicity.