Energy Efficiency and Sustainability

04.10.17

Scotland government takes ‘decisive action’ to ban fracking

The Scottish Government has announced an effective ban on fracking following “overwhelming public support.”

The announcement that the Scottish Government will not support the development of unconventional oil and gas in Scotland comes following a four-month public consultation, which received over 60,000 responses. Almost all (99%) of these were opposed to fracking, with fewer than 1% in favour.

Those opposed to fracking cited negative impacts on communities, health, environment and climate and skepticism of its regulation as concerns, and expressed doubts about value to the Scottish economy.

The Scottish Government has written to local authorities across the country to clarify that the directions that gave effect to the moratorium will remain in place in order to put the announcement in to immediate effect. A Parliamentary vote will follow, as will a Strategic Environmental Assessment.

Paul Wheelhouse, minister for business, innovation and energy, told members of the Scottish Parliament that the decision followed an extensive period of public engagement and evidence gathering: “We have not taken the process or the decision lightly. At every stage we have created opportunities for discourse and debate.

“It is clear that people across Scotland remain firmly opposed to fracking – this government has listened and taken decisive action.”

He went on to issue reassurance that Scotland’s manufacturing and chemical industry will continue to be supported by the government, adding: “I want to be clear that the regardless of our position on unconventional oil and gas, our support for Scotland’s industrial base and manufacturing is unwavering.”

Whilst Labour has welcomed the ban, the Scottish Conservatives have criticised the move, calling it a “backwards step for both the manufacturing and energy industry in Scotland.”

Scottish Conservative spokesperson on energy, Murdo Fraser, said: “The Scottish Government needs to stop playing politics and start thinking about the long-term economic consequences of blocking an industry with the potential to create jobs, reduce emissions and increase our security of supply.”

Top Image: Dave Thompson

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