Environmental campaigners are calling for the Scottish Government to implement a legal ban on fracking, to put the issue to rest once and for all. The call came as Ministers are preparing to make a statement to Parliament on Thursday 3rd October.

This statement is scheduled for exactly two years from the day of a statement to Parliament in which Energy Minister Paul Wheelhouse announced an ‘effective ban’ on the industry. This position was subsequently exposed as having no legal force following a court case by petrochemical giant INEOS.

In response to a Scottish Government consultation on fracking, 60,000 people called for the industry to be stopped. The Scottish Parliament also voted for a ban on the industry in June 2016.

Friends of the Earth Scotland Head of Campaigns Mary Church commented,

“Ministers must live up their rhetoric and fulfil the promises of two years ago by committing to a full legal ban on fracking that will put this issue to bed once and for all. The effective ban announced 2 years ago has been exposed in court as having no legal force and was described by the Scottish Government’s own legal team as merely ‘the language of a press release’.

“An expert legal opinion from earlier this year shows that not only is it well within the power of the Scottish Government to ban fracking, but that legislating would be a far more effective way to stop the industry and defeat any further legal challenges from companies like INEOS who want to frack the central belt.

“We are in the middle of a climate crisis, and now is the time for tough decisions to lay the framework for the system change we need to make happen over the next decade if we are to avoid outright catastrophe. A full legal ban on fracking will be much harder for a future minority government to overturn and will send a strong signal to the fossil fuel industry that its days are numbered.

“The Scottish Government has announced a climate emergency – it now needs to start acting like it means it. That includes taking a much tougher stance with big, polluting corporations, ending its support for new oil and gas and using the powers it has to pass strong laws in the Scottish Parliament to drive the transformative change we need.”

Notes to Editors

The Scottish Parliament Business Bulletin has been updated to include a Ministerial Statement on ‘Scotland’s Onshore Unconventional Oil and Gas Policy’ on Thursday 3rd October. https://bb.parliament.scot/#20191001

This statement comes at the end of a protracted process which saw the Scottish Government conduct several consultations on unconventional oil and gas. The latest of these was an ‘addendum’ to a full strategic environmental assessment consultation on its ‘preferred policy position of no support’ for the fracking industry. The addendum consultation, published in March this year, kicked a final decision on fracking into autumn. https://foe.scot/press-release/scottish-government-decision-on-fracking-kicked-further-down-road/

Protests took place outside the SNP Spring Conference as anti-fracking groups, community councillors and concerned citizens demanded the Scottish Government bans fracking in Scotland once and for all.https://foe.scot/press-release/protest-at-snp-conference-demands-fracking-ban-law/
Free to use photos of that protest https://www.flickr.com/photos/friendsoftheearthscotland/albums/72157704799404942

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.