Lifting the ban on fracking is wrong

I was appalled that the UK Government decided to lift restrictions on shale gas extraction (fracking) last week, given all the risks associated with this controversial technology.

An energy company is already pursuing plans to frack in Balcombe, West Sussex and we can expect more applications for extraction licences in this area soon.

We only need to look at experiences of fracking in the US to see how badly things can go wrong. Aside from potential air and soil pollution, the threat to already stretched water resources, and the risk of earthquakes, this step makes a mockery of the UK’s efforts to tackle climate change. We should learn from other countries’ experiences, not blindly rush to make the same mistakes.

We need to prioritise investment in genuinely low or zero carbon energy technologies such as tidal, wind and solar. Investment in clean energy will mean new green jobs and industries, contributing to greater energy security while reducing our CO2 output.

The Greens are completely against any shale gas exploitation. We need to heed the warnings and follow the examples of several other European countries, such as France, who have banned fracking completely.

Keith Taylor MEP

Green Party MEP for South East England