The government’s plans to offer ‘bribes’ to households to accept fracking (1) on their doorsteps underlines the destructiveness of their energy policy, which will hasten the onset of climate chaos, says the Green Party, the only party wholeheartedly opposed to fracking.
The latest government intervention in support of fracking comes as leading climate scientists warn (2) that the Earth is perilously close to breaking through a 1.5C upper limit for global warming, just eight months after the target was set at the Paris climate talks. 2016 is set to become the hottest year on record.
In a consultation launched today (3) by the Treasury on the structure of its planned Shale Wealth Fund, it was confirmed that “households in those communities (who host shale activity) should gain directly from the benefits of shale development.”
Molly Scott Cato, Green MEP for the South West and an outspoken opponent of fracking, said:
“The plan to offer individual payments, little more than bribes, to households in areas affected by fracking demonstrates just how desperate the Tories are to force fracking through come hell or high water. These plans may well appeal to the corporate interests of the fossil fuel industry but they ride roughshod over public opinion and our chances of securing a safe climate for current and future generations.”
There is growing opposition to fracking, which is supported by only 19% of people in the UK (4). By contrast 81% support renewables.
Scott Cato, who yesterday warned that the plans “are bound to set household against household and exacerbate community tensions”, added:
“Following hard on the heels of the Hinkley fiasco, this misguided policy to encourage fracking demonstrates again that the government has no strategic energy policy. It is also another worrying indication of the failure of commitment to tackle climate change, first demonstrated by May in her abolition of DECC.”
Cllr Andrew Cooper, Green Party Energy spokesperson, commented:
“Instead of bribing people to accept climate-destroying fracking, the government should be investing in renewables and energy efficiency. Government’s ongoing preferential treatment for fossil fuels over renewables is short-sighted, unpopular and destructive.
The Green Party is clear that our energy future must lie with the rapid investment in both energy conservation measures and new renewable capacity. This offers a clean safe energy future and would also create many thousands of jobs.”