Greens warn Rudd of environmental and health threats from fracking and dash for gas

As Amber Rudd announces a push for a new fleet of gas-fired power stations, Green MP Caroline Lucas and the UK’s Green MEPs have written to the Energy Secretary to voice deep concerns at the potential impacts fracking for gas will have on communities and the environment.

In the letter, concerns are expressed about the fact that issues identified as high risk to people and the environment have been completely ignored. The Green representatives are also concerned insufficient consideration has been given to the potential impacts of fracking on nationally and internationally protected sites. They say they agree with the findings of the House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee that the precautionary principle should be applied. Molly Scott Cato said:

“EU laws on the protection of nature are intended to be applied in a way that is precautionary. If there is a lack of certainty, then the benefit of the doubt goes to the protection of nature. There is no rationale for allowing fracking under National Parks, AONBs and other designated sites. From a Green perspective there is no rationale for fracking anywhere. Fracked gas should not form any part of the energy mix. The potential environmental and health risks of this extraction technique are huge. Fracking and a dash for gas are incompatible with the UK’s longstanding commitment to keeping climate change below 2 degrees. It is clear that following this route will mean the UK fails to meet its carbon reduction and renewable energy targets.”

Caroline Lucas MP said:

“Today’s announcement of plans for a new fleet of gas-fired power stations and the huge push for fracking show an energy policy firmly stuck in the 20th century. We need to fully embrace the transition to renewables that is already underway around the world, but which this government seems determined to put the brakes on. Not only is such a transition an environmental imperative but it would deliver huge economic opportunities and thousands of quality jobs as well”.