Thursday, December 24, 2015

Victoria's Green Matters - 24th December 2015

Deal With IT's Secretary Victoria Nicholls writes a regular column in the East Kent Mercury:

It seems quite astounding that David Cameron returned from the COP21climate talks in Paris after making a rousing speech, encouraging all nations to come to an agreement on limiting carbon emissions, before leading the government in giving permission for fracking for shale gas to go ahead under national parks.

In January, the government stated that fracking would not be allowed in national parks or at sites of special scientific interest (SSSI). In November they partially rescinded this decision by stating that ‘surface drilling’ would not be allowed in areas of outstanding natural beauty and SSSIs. We now find that shale gas companies have been given the go-ahead as long as they sink their wells outside the boundaries of the national park or other protected areas. They will be able to drill several kilometres beneath these areas.

Shale gas is a fossil fuel. It is not a green alternative to coal. It burns with half the carbon emissions of coal but it still produces greenhouse gasses. One of the government’s recent actions has been to remove funding from several projects that were researching ‘carbon capture and storage’ (CCS) where systems are put in place to capture carbon dioxide emissions from burning fossil fuels.

Along with the government’s actions to remove subsidy from wind and solar power, causing great concern for the future of fledgling industries, we have the go ahead for this much campaigned against process of fracking to produce shale gas that we cannot afford to burn.

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