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Tue, 4 August 2020

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Jeremy Corbyn calls for Boris Johnson to ban fracking or risk missing net-zero climate targets

Jeremy Corbyn calls for Boris Johnson to ban fracking or risk missing net-zero climate targets
2 min read

Jeremy Corbyn has warned Boris Johnson that the UK will miss its climate change targets unless he implements a ban on fracking.

The Labour leader called for an "immediate" halt to the controversial extraction practice as he accused the Prime Minister of "bending the knee" to fracking firms.

It comes after a fresh analysis from the party found that the UK would miss its commitment to reducing emissions to net-zero by 2050 if ministers pressed forward with their plans to "fully" exhaust the UK's shale gas reserves.

Pointing to historical comments from Mr Johnson in which he said the "primative fear" of global warming was "without foundation", the party also concluded that continuing extraction at the current rate would still delay the net-zero plans until at least 2100.

The warning comes after a High Court judgement in March concluded that the Government's fracking guidelines were unlawful following a "flawed" public consultation process.

Speaking ahead of a meeting with anti-fracking protesters at a site in Preston, Mr Corbyn said: “We need urgent action to tackle the climate emergency, and that means the Prime Minister immediately banning fracking once and for all.

“Instead of bending the knee to a few corporations who profit from extracting fossil fuels from the ground, we need to change course now.

"It’s the next generation and the world’s poorest who will pay the price if this Conservative government continues to put the interests of a few polluters ahead of people.  

“Tackling the climate emergency cannot be left to the free market. Labour will ban fracking and our Green Industrial Revolution will face the climate emergency head-on and leave no community behind, transforming our country’s energy supply and creating 400,000 good, well-paid jobs across the country.”

In his first Commons appearance as Prime Minister, Mr Johnson blasted "Britosceptics" for doubting the UK's ability to hit the net-zero targets, but failed to address concerns about the impact of fracking.

"The House will know that we place the climate change agenda at the absolute core of what we are doing," he told MPs.

"There are many people who do not think it can be done. There are all sorts of sceptics, pessimists and Britosceptics who think that this country cannot pull it off, but actually we can.

"We have cut carbon emissions in this country massively since 2010, and we will continue to do so."

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has been approached for comment.


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