UK’s Climate Targets Won’t be Endangered by Fracking
By Anne Lewis-Schneider
In a major speech given at the Royal Society in London, Ed Davey the Minister of Energy and Climate Change said that fracking can act as a bridge to a greener future in the UK, and that alarmists views on fracking have left a lot of misunderstanding with regards to the impact of this technology on the environment. He added that fracking would have to be regulated and monitored diligently, and if this was done then there would be no endangerment of the UK’s climate targets.
Chief Scientific adviser David Mackay from the Energy and Climate Change Department, which has done an impact analysis of shale gas on greenhouse gasses and climate change has stated that fracking would lead to an increase of emissions and that an international agreement would need to be reached in Paris at the next UN talks in two years. Mr. Davey pointed out that exaggerations on both ends of the spectrum gave false impressions. He said that whilst fracking is not the most evil threat in existence to the environment, complacency in thinking that shale gas will answer all of the UK’s energy problems was also wrong.
Ed Davey said that gas is the cleanest of all of the fossil fuels and was necessary in a bid to move away from coal, thus moving towards a greener energy future, but that this had to be accomplished with all the right safety regulations in place.
Shale gas emissions have been linked comparably with those of liquefied natural gas which is currently being imported from Qatar, but is still higher than those of North Sea gas. David Mackay has said that the exploration and production of shale gas would however negate the need to import gas in the future and would have a minimal effect on climate targets set for the UK.
Mr Davey said that hopes the findings of this report will allay fears of environmentalists concerned that fracking will aggravate global warming, with the right techniques to reduce carbon emissions being made available.
Green groups WWF-UK and Greenpeace do not agree and have said that more fossil fuels will be highly pollutant and damaging to the countryside, using vast quantities of water, and have advocated that shale gas be left underground. They are convinced that the only way forward is through high-tech low carbon renewable energy sources.
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