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Tuesday, January 27, 2015

and in the UK: Sorry, "Not for Shale"!

"The fight against fracking in the U.K. heated up on Monday, following the release of a damning report from an influential parliamentary committee that said the practice is incompatible with the government's goal of mitigating climate change. "Ultimately fracking cannot be compatible with our long-term commitments to cut climate changing emissions unless full-scale carbon capture and storage technology is rolled out rapidly, which currently looks unlikely," said Joan Walley MP, chair of the Environmental Audit Committee, which released on Monday a report (pdf) analyzing the risks of fracking. "There are also huge uncertainties around the impact that fracking could have on water supplies, air quality and public health."

      At an anti-fracking demonstration held Monday, January 26 outside Parliament.

Environmentalists have long warned of such dangers. But the focus on climate was something new—the Environmental Audit Committee's report warned that only a fraction of U.K. shale reserves could be safely burned if global warming was to be kept below two degrees, the target of international climate negotiations. "Until now the main focus of environmental concern has been on the risks of pollution," said BBC science editor David Shukman of the committee's report. "Any worries about noise or the potential for contaminated drinking water have essentially been local. But highlighting the climate angle gives the debate a national perspective.""