Crowds of anti-fracking activists gathered at the SECC in Glasgow this morning where the last SNP conference ahead of May’s election is being held. Communities directly affected by the unconventional fossil fuel industry were joined by activists from around the country and the internal SNP anti-fracking campaign, SMAUG.

Friends of the Earth Scotland Head of Campaigns, Mary Church, said:

“Fracking and unconventional fossil fuels are a key battleground in the forthcoming Holyrood elections. At the moment most of the parties seem to be trying to outdo each other to be the most anti-fracking, which is of course great news for the environment and communities threatened by this risky industry.

“The turnout today demonstrates the strength of feeling of SNP members and the population in general against this unwanted and unnecessary industry. Voters around the country will be holding politicians to account on this important issue both at the ballot and in the months following the election, building unstoppable momentum for an all out ban.

“While the current moratoriums prevent shale gas, coalbed methane and underground coal gasification development in Scotland at the moment, pressure is mounting for an all out ban. It is our view that a fair and balanced analysis of the evidence will demonstrate that the only sensible course of action for the next Scottish Government is to ban unconventional fossil fuels.”

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has said she is personally ‘highly sceptical’ about fracking. Last week Kezia Dugdale MSP announced that the Scottish Labour party’s position was to ban fracking. Scottish Lib Dem leader Willie Rennie recently confirmed that his party was opposed to unconventional fossil fuels on climate grounds. The Scottish Green party have long opposed unconventional fossil fuel extraction and would consider introducing primary legislation to prevent it going ahead. The Scottish Conservative party remain in favour of fracking.

ENDS

Notes

Friends of the Earth Scotland is:
* Scotland's leading environmental campaigning organisation
* An independent Scottish charity with a network of thousands of supporters and active local groups across Scotland
* Part of the largest grassroots environmental network in the world, uniting over 2 million supporters, 75 national member groups, and some 5,000 local activist groups.