Peter Cranie, the North West Green Party’s lead European election candidate, has condemned the government’s lobbying at the EU which has halted the introduction of new fracking regulations and the adoption of a new, robust climate change target.
The UK government lobbied the EU, defeating its attempt to introduce binding regulations on fracking. Instead the European Commission yesterday announced a set of recommendations for governments to maintain environmental standards while shale gas drilling is carried out. (1) The UK government also argued for no new binding renewable energy target for the UK.
Peter Cranie said: “This government, which brands itself ‘the greenest ever’ has this week lobbied the EU to get rid of safeguards for fracking as well as failing to create any new renewable energy targets. This makes it a double disaster for all those who care about the future of our environment.” Continue reading →
Monday’s announcement from the government of ‘bribes’ to be offered to local councils and communities that accept the presence of fracking for shale gas can be seen as a sign of two things.
The first is desperation – the resistance to the government’s enthusiasm to fracking has been strong and determined. From the camp at Balcombe in leafy Sussex, to the site at Barton Moss on the edge of Manchester airport, where 500 people gathered yesterday to show their opposition to the drilling there, across the country, surveys show that Britons understand that fracking is something they don’t want in their back yard, in their region, or in their country.
The second aspect of the government’s bribe is that they demonstrate fracking for shale gas is something you really wouldn’t want to have near you. Just like you offer a child a sweet if they’ll swallow their nasty-tasting medicine, the government’s very offer demonstrates the unattractiveness of fracking for shale gas for local communities.
Further telling news that emerged this week was the announcement that French multinational Total is to invest in fracking here. Banned for conducting the procedure in its own country, which has instituted a moratorium on fracking, as Germany plans to do and Bulgaria has long done, it’s planning to come here.
Not surprising really, when Prime Minister David Cameron is boasting that he’s offering the most generous tax regime in Europe – indeed overall more generous than that offered by the United States. So Mr Cameron is seeking to enrich big multinational fossil fuel exploiters, while giving scant attention to the alternatives. Continue reading →