POLITICS
28/04/2019 16:00 BST | Updated 28/04/2019 16:09 BST

Cross-Party Group Of MPs Demand 'Immediate' End To Fracking

Lib Dem-led letter to PM warns development of a new fossil fuel industry of any kind is "unacceptable".

A cross-party group of MPs has written to Theresa May to demand an “immediate moratorium” on fracking.

The Lib Dem, Labour, Independent and Green MPs said the exploration of shale gas would not help tackle climate change.

“Fracked fuel is a fossil fuel and the development of a new fossil fuel industry of any kind is unacceptable,” they warned.

It comes as Natascha Engel quit as the UK’s shale gas commissioner claiming it was now “impossible” to develop the industry as environmental restrictions were already too tight.

She said rules that halted fracking when a tremor with a magnitude of 0.5 is recorded “amounts to a de facto ban”.

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The letter to the PM was signed by, among others, Labour shadow cabinet minister Cat Smith, Green MP Caroline Lucas and Lib Dem climate change spokesperson Wera Hobhouse.

Hobhouse said it was “incomprehensible” that the government continued to back fracking.

“Climate change is an emergency that’s needs to be dealt with now, we must focus on renewable energy rather than being distracted by more fossil fuels. Liberal Democrats demand better for our planet,” she said.

“In a week when Greta Thunberg visited parliament it is time the Tories start taking climate change seriously.”

MPs will vote on Wednesday whether to declare an environmental and climate emergency following mass protests over political inaction in addressing the crisis.

Jeremy Corbyn will force a Commons vote on the issue, one of the key demands of the Extinction Rebellion (XR) movement, whose activists paralysed parts of London in previous weeks.

The move was backed by Thunberg, the 16-year-old activist who has been nominated for the Nobel peace prize for her campaign to tackle climate change.

Letter to the prime minister

Greta Thunberg, the young Swedish campaigner, came to Parliament last Tuesday to speak to parliamentarians and to remind us all that climate change is an emergency and climate action the most important call for all political decision makers.

We must not just reduce our greenhouse gas emissions, we must completely stop them. The IPCC stated that there is only 12 years for global warming to be kept to a maximum of 1.5C.

It is therefore incomprehensible that the government continues to support the exploration of shale gas in the UK.

Fracked fuel is a fossil fuel and the development of a new fossil fuel industry of any kind is unacceptable. That fracked fuel is acceptable as a transition fuel because it is a little less damaging than coal and oil is a false argument. 

The CCC have set 3 tests for Shale Gas Extraction to be compatible with the UK’s carbon budgets, budgets which are now too weak to meet the 1.5C warming, however these 3 tests cannot be met so an immediate moratorium on all Shale Gas must be implemented.

The climate emergency calls on us to concentrate entirely on carbon zero energy.

We call on you to stop immediately any further support for the exploration of shale gas.

Sincerely,

Wera Hobhouse MP

Ed Davey MP

David Drew MP

Darren Jones MP

Tim Farron MP

Daniel Zeichner MP

Matt Western MP

Alex Sobel MP

Caroline Lucas MP

Cat Smith MP

Louise Haigh MP

Paul Farrelly MP

Tom Brake MP

Ruth George MP

Rachel Maskell MP

Ivan Lewis MP