A new report has found that exploiting shale gas reserves would put the UK’s climate commitments at risk. Meanwhile, direct action and protests against companies involved in the shale gas industry, such as Cuadrilla, are gathering strength.
The report, written by researchers from the Tyndall Centre and commissioned by the Cooperative Group, states that if just 20% of the estimated reserves under Lancashire identified by Cuadrilla were extracted and burnt, over 2,000 million tonnes of carbon dioxide would be emitted. This is equivalent to 15% of the government’s greenhouse gas emissions budget through to 2050. The report also found that investing in shale gas would divert money away from renewable sources of energy.
As evidence against shale gas and fracking in the UK increases resistance also continues to grow in strength. On 21 November, a Cuadrilla presentation was disrupted by climate change protesters. The meeting was originally meant to be held at the Energy Institute HQ but was hastily moved to the law offices of SNR Denton LLP following the flurry of anti-fracking activity earlier that month. Protesters found out about the change of venue and arrived before the meeting to greet the attendees, forcing SNR Denton to temporarily close the entrances to the building and carefully inspect the badge of everyone who entered the building.
Then, on 1 December, for the second time in less than a month, Cuadrilla’s rig in Lancashire was occupied, this time by members of Bristol Rising Tide (see here). Eight campaigners made their way on to the site and operations were shut down for 13 hours while climbers who scaled the equipment were removed.