Scottish Labour urges the SNP to introduce an outright ban on fracking ahead of draft Climate Change Plan
Fracking sign - credit: Fotolia
Scottish Labour has urged the SNP to introduce an outright ban on fracking ahead of the publication of the Scottish Government’s draft climate change plan.
Stop Climate Chaos Scotland called for “credible policies to ensure that commitments made, including those undertaken as part of the Paris climate change agreement, are met” ahead of the Scottish Government today publishing its draft plan, which will set out emission reduction policies up to 2032.
The plan will set out a strategic framework to reduce emissions from electricity generation, housing, transport, services, industry, land use, waste, and agriculture.
"Inadequate" evidence to determine whether shale oil and gas extraction would pose a risk to public health
Scottish Parliament votes to ban fracking
Speaking ahead of the launch of the plan, Scottish Labour environment spokesperson Claudia Beamish warned it “won't be worth the paper it is written on if it doesn't rule out fracking”.
The Scottish Government introduced a moratorium on fracking in January 2015, while it gathered evidence, before launching a consultation on the subject.
A report commissioned by the Scottish Government to help determine its position on fracking, released in November, found there is “inadequate” evidence to determine whether shale oil and gas extraction would pose a risk to public health.
The Scottish Government commissioned six reports into different effects of introducing onshore unconventional oil and gas extraction (UOG) in Scotland. But although the health assessment was unable to state if there is a general association between UOG activities and health impacts, the studies found that fracking could cause airborne and waterborne hazards.
The reports also warn there is a “gap in the regulations” relating to decommissioning and aftercare of onshore wells, and that fracking would make it harder for Scotland to meet its emissions targets.
The Scottish Parliament passed a motion to ban fracking in June, after Labour, Green and Lib Dem MSPS voted in favour, the Tories voted against and the SNP chose to abstain
Beamish said: "We will study the details of the government's Draft Climate Change Plan very closely, but for it to be effective the SNP must ban fracking. A plan to tackle climate change won't be worth the paper it is written on if it doesn't rule out fracking.
“This is about Scotland’s future, the air we breathe, the water we drink and the condition we leave our planet in for our children and our grandchildren.
“If the SNP doesn't act then Labour will. I have introduced a Bill to change the law to ban fracking in Scotland. The climate science and evidence is clear – the last thing we need is another fossil fuel. We need to fulfil Scotland’s renewables potential and we can’t do that if we allow fracking in our communities.”
Tom Ballantine, chair of SCCS said: “The publication of the Climate Change Plan will make clear how serious the Scottish Government really is about tackling the effects of climate change and creating a fairer, healthier country for us all.
“In order for Scotland to truly be a world leader, bold, ambitious policies are needed in areas such as housing, transport and renewable energy. SCCS are calling for a plan that delivers credible policies to ensure that commitments made, including those undertaken as part of the Paris climate change agreement, are met”.