Environmental campaigners have called on the new Conservative leader, Boris Johnson, to ban fracking.
Mr Johnson, who becomes prime minister tomorrow, supported fracking in newspaper articles (See Boris Johnson on fracking below).
During the leadership election campaign, he promised action on climate change and supported the net zero carbon emissions target set by Theresa May.
In his victory speech this morning, there was no reference to energy, the environment or climate change. Mr Johnson referred only to energising the country through better education and infrastructure, more police and “fantastic full-fibre broadband sprouting in every household”.
Craig Bennett, chief executive of Friends of the Earth, said Mr Johnson must “act swiftly to reduce emissions and put the climate emergency at the centre of his premiership”.
“He said he’d ‘lie down in front of the bulldozers’ to prevent a third runway at Heathrow. Now he has the power to cancel this polluting project along with other climate disasters like fracking. And he must.”
Friends of the Earth called for a series of climate commitments by the end of 2020. On energy, it said the government should:
“Start aiming for 100% clean energy from the wind, sun and sea. Electricity can’t come from dirty fuels anymore and fracking should be banned.”
On transport, it said there should be a commitment to:
“Invest in brilliant and cheap public transport, cycling and walking everywhere. New petrol and diesel cars shouldn’t even be for sale within the decade.”
Areeba Hamid, climate campaigner for Greenpeace UK, said:
“The fracking farce has dragged on long enough.
“The government realised a long time ago that a highly dubious economic opportunity for a few fossil fuel companies is not worth the aggravation of foisting an unwanted polluting industry onto an unwilling British public during a climate emergency.
“But they’re too timid to announce an end to it and are hoping it will just wither away. This is deeply unfair on the local people who have to put up with their smelly, noisy, unwelcome guest taking their time leaving. Boris should call them a cab.”
Boris Johnson on fracking
“It [fracking] is glorious news for humanity. It doesn’t need the subsidy of wind power. I don’t know whether it will work in Britain, but we should get fracking right away.”
9 December 2012, The Telegraph
“Stop pussy-footing around”
“we must stop pussy-footing around, and get fracking. Even if we have hundreds of fracking pads, they are nothing like as ugly as windmills, and they can be dismantled as soon as the gas is extracted.”
15 September 2013, The Sun
“Give British people their mineral rights”
“Give the British people their mineral rights, and get fracking at last.
“No landowner, large or small, has any automatic commercial interest in the discovery of shale gas beneath their property. No wonder the shires are in revolt against fracking.
“It is no surprise that everyone is a Nimby – or in this case, Numby – when they are told that what is under their back yard is not theirs, but belongs to the Queen!”
30 June 2014, The Telegraph
“Leave no stone unturned”