So the election has been called, in one of the shortest Parliamentary sessions ever. One positive was the introduction of a fuller version of the Environment Bill which has received detailed commentary. One to bank for the next Parliament.
There is a key message to get out to encourage everyone to register to vote.
Fracking ‘pause’ Another Environmental benefit of the election is that in the face of a damning official report on fracking UK Government has decided to ban/introduce a moratorium/’press a pause button’ on fracking in the UK. This is a huge victory for activists who have been battered over the last 9 years by this policy.
But then there is the Government’s strange commitment to invest £1 billion in Argentinian fracking – see Below
Government ends support for fracking in England on the basis of new scientific analysis, published today. Published 2 November 2019 From: Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy, Oil and Gas Authority, The Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng MP, and The Rt Hon Andrea Leadsom MP
- Oil and Gas Authority report published today concludes that it is not possible with current technology to accurately predict the probability of tremors associated with fracking
- Separate proposals to change the planning process for fracking sites will no longer be taken forward at this time
Fracking will not be allowed to proceed in England, the government has announced today, following the publication of new scientific analysis.
Ministers took the decision on the basis of a report by the Oil and Gas Authority (OGA), which found that it is not currently possible to accurately predict the probability or magnitude of earthquakes linked to fracking operations. Click here to read Government statement
Zac Goldsmith recently a Minister at Defra had highlighted how toxic this issue was for voters.
So UK Government invests in Fracking – £1 billion in Argentina!
The Guardian: ‘UK to use finance meant for green energy to support fracking in Argentina
Documents show government’s £1bn commitment in 2017 later prioritised support of major oil companies. The UK is planning to invest in Argentina’s controversial oil shale industry using a £1bn export finance deal intended to support green energy, according to government documents seen by the Guardian.
UK Export Finance, the government’s foreign credit agency, promised in 2017 to offer loans totalling £1bn to help UK companies export their expertise in “infrastructure, green energy and healthcare” to invest in Argentina’s economy. Instead official records, released through a freedom of information request, have revealed the government’s plan to prioritise support for major oil companies, including Shell and BP, which are fracking in Argentina’s vast Vaca Muerta shale heartlands.
One government memo, uncovered by Friends of the Earth, said that while Argentina’s clean energy sector was growing, it was “Argentina’s huge shale resources that offer the greatest potential” for the UK. The briefing note was prepared before a key meeting between the UK government’s trade envoy to Latin America, the UK ambassador to Argentina and Argentina’s energy minister in February this year. Tony Bosworth, a campaigner at Friends of the Earth, said: “With the world hurtling towards catastrophic climate change, and parliament declaring a climate emergency, it’s outrageous that the UK government is continuing to back huge fossil fuel developments abroad.” Separate records, also uncovered by Friends of the Earth, revealed that there had been no fewer than 13 meetings between the UK and oil companies operating in Argentina’s Vaca Muerta hydrocarbon reservoir.