Jeremy Corbyn blasts government fracking push as new analysis warns it could shred climate targets

Posted On: 
24th March 2019

Government plans to press ahead with fracking could see Britain miss its international climate commitments twenty times over, Jeremy Corbyn will warn today.

The Labour leader said fracking would 'fly in the face of community opposition'.
Credit: 
PA

The Labour leader will seize on fresh analysis from the party which predicts that fully exploiting the UK's shale reserves would be equivalent to the lifetime emissions pumped out by 286 million cars - or 29 coal-fired power plants.

The party says the impact of emissions from the controversial extraction method would see Britain resoundingly fail to meet its obligations under the international Paris climate agreement.

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Britain holds some 1,400 trillion cubic feet in shale gas reserves, according to analysis by the London School of Economics, with around 10% of that deemed to be recoverable through fracking.

The Labour leader will point to public statements from ministers which suggest the Government wants to "fully" exploit those reserves - a move Mr Corbyn argues would see Britain release more than seven billion extra tonnes of CO2 into the Earth's atmosphere.

Speaking on a campaign trip to Lancashire, where local residents have long fought plans to extract shale gas, Mr Corbyn will say: "The Conservatives’ fracking plans will damage our environment and fly in the face of community opposition.

"There is a clear alternative to fracking. Clean, renewable energy is the future of our economy and will create over 400,000 jobs as part of Labour’s Green Industrial Revolution.

"Local communities in Lancashire and across the country are standing against fracking. In government, Labour will ban it once and for all."

Shadow Business Secretary Rebecca Long-Bailey will add: "Fracking can’t be part of the solution to climate change.

"These figures demonstrate the enormous debt we owe to the communities and campaigners who have fought back against fracking and prevented the Tories from pushing our country off a climate cliff."

'PROTECTIONS'

The campaign push from Labour comes after the High Court ruled that the Government's latest guidance on fracking was unlawful.

Campaign group Talk Fracking had argued ministers had failed to consult scientific evidence in advice giving councils the go-ahead to allow the extraction method to proceed.

Following the ruling, a government spokesperson said: "We note the judgment in the case brought by Talk Fracking, and will now consider our next steps.

"Environmental protections are at the heart of our new planning rulebook, setting clear expectations for future development."