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Manchester Friends of the Earth asks Labour Party to say No to Fracking

On a lovely Mancunian Sunday afternoon, Manchester Friends of the Earth members  joined with Ribble Estuary Against Fracking (REAF) and Residents Action on Fylde Fracking (RAFF)  to lobby delegates, councillors and Shadow Ministers attending the Labour Party Conference in Manchester – calling on the Labour Party to oppose Fracking.

[flickr id=”8040519170″ thumbnail=”medium” overlay=”false” size=”medium” group=”” align=”left”] As part of George Osborne’s ‘Dash for gas’ the government is considering licence applications to permit the extraction of shale gas by hydraulic fracking in Lancashire and across the UK.

Shale gas is being promoted as a safe, clean energy source that can help the UK in the transition to a low carbon economy.

But there are serious environmental and human health concerns around shale gas drilling including threats to groundwater quality, triggering earth tremors, concerns about how much water is needed and, above all, the potential impact on climate change emissions.

Labour MEPs on the European Environment Committee have called on all European Governments to make sure that “there are  robust rules to protect health and the environment” before fracking is permitted and that “all fracking should be subject to an Environmental Impact Assessment – which would also guarantee proper public participation in planning decisions made by local authorities.” [flickr id=”8040547194″ thumbnail=”medium” overlay=”false” size=”small” group=”” align=”right”]

However, research by the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research identified that:

“Assuming that 50% of this resource is exploited by 2050, these scenarios give additional cumulative emissions associated with the shale gas combustion of 95-286 GtCO2, resulting in an additional atmospheric concentration of CO2 of 5-16ppmv for the period 2010-2050. These emissions would occupy a substantial proportion, up to 29%, of an emissions budget associated with a better than 50:50 chance of avoiding 2°C warming (Anderson and Bows 2011).

However, in an energy hungry world it is possible that exploitation would be more rapid than this. What we can say with more certainty is that without a meaningful cap on global carbon emissions, any emissions associated with shale gas are likely to be additional, exacerbating the problem of climate change.” (Page 110).

For more details see the Friends of the Earth briefing. “Shale gas: energy solution or fracking hell?”.



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