Government sidesteps call for “urgent” debate on fracking and climate change
Fracking Week in Parliament 13-17 November 2017. Third Energy’s Kirby Misperton site ready for fracking, 15 November 2017. Photo: Eddie Thornton
The Green Party MP, Caroline Lucas, has called for an urgent debate on the compatibility of fracking with UK climate objectives.
In a parliamentary question, Dr Lucas said the government was believed to be about to approve the first high volume hydraulic fracture onshore in the UK onshore for six years. A decision on fracking at Third Energy’s site at Kirby Misperton in North Yorkshire is expected any day.
She asked the Leader of the House of Commons, Andrea Leadson:
“Can we have an urgent debate on how that is compatible with our climate change objectives, given that the Committee on Climate Change has said that three key tests have to be met? The Government have not met them, yet we believe the decision in Ryedale is imminent.”
Mrs Leadsom said shale gas was needed for UK energy security.
“We will need continued access to gas for many years to come as we move to a renewable, zero-carbon-electricity future, but that it is not possible to do that overnight.”
Also this week, Labour’s Justin Madders (left) asked how the government planned to change planning law so that fracking decisions were taken out of local authority control. Mr Madders is MP for Ellesmere Port, where IGas is proposing to test an existing shale gas well.
The Communities Minister, Alok Sharma, (above right) said the government would announce its “preferred way forward in due course”.
In the House of Lords, Lord Hunt of Chesterton (above left) asked what steps was the government taking to inform people about the risks of fracking. The Energy Minister, Lord Henley, (above right) said “early engagement” with communities was vital and public confidence was important to the shale industry’s success.