Responding to the Scottish Parliament’s vote to ban fracking, Friends of the Earth Scotland’s Head of Campaigns Mary Church said:

“Today’s vote ends any hopes the industry had of fracking in Scotland. This is a huge victory for the anti-fracking movement, particularly for communities on the frontline who have been fighting for a ban these last six years. The Scottish Parliament’s vote today affirms and strengthens the ban on fracking. The ban will protect Scotland’s people and the environment from this dirty industry and boost the global fight against fracking.”

The Scottish Parliament voted for the Scottish Government’s proposal to use planning and environmental regulation powers to effectively ban the fracking industry ‘indefinitely’. Amendments proposed by the Labour Party, Greens and Liberal Democrats – all of whom are opposed to fracking – to strengthen the Government’s position were passed with the support of the SNP. This means the ban will be written into the National Planning Framework and leaves the door open to use licensing powers, devolved last year, when they finally come into force, to put the ban into law.

Mary Church continued:

“Crucially, today’s vote leaves the door open for the Parliament to put the fracking ban into law when licensing powers finally come to Holyrood. This is important, since the current ban relies on an anti-fracking party being in Government. It also sends a clear signal that we should be pursuing green energy and jobs rather than new fossil fuel frontiers. Well done to Labour, Greens and Liberal Democrats in the Scottish Parliament for pushing to strengthen ban.

“Over 60,000 people called on the Scottish Government to ban fracking, clearly demonstrating that there is no social license for this industry in Scotland, and a firm mandate to ban it in law.”

Notes to Editors

Friends of the Earth Scotland spokespeople will be available for broadcast interview.

FoES issued free to use, press quality images of anti-fracking activists outside Scottish Parliament today at https://flic.kr/s/aHsm9RqzP3

1. The Scottish Government announced their proposal to ban fracking on the 3rd October following a 32-month moratorium. https://foe.scot/press-release/scottish-gov-bans-fracking/

2. The Scottish Parliament debated a motion in support of the ban from the Scottish Government, with amendments proposed by all other parties: https://bb.parliament.scot/#20171024

Amendments by Labour, the Greens and the LibDems to strengthen the ban were supported by the SNP, and an amendment opposing the ban from the Tories was voted down by all other parties.

3. A four month consultation on fracking closed on 31 May this year, to which over 60,000 people responded, 99% of them against fracking, the largest single message ever given to a Scottish Government consultation http://www.gov.scot/Topics/Business-Industry/Energy/onshoreoilandgas/ConsultationAndEngagement

Our summary of the Government-commissioned research for the consultation

4. Short timeline of campaign

Spring 2011: Six years of campaigning kicks off as Dart Energy announce plans for biggest coalbed methane project in UK at Airth near Falkirk
April 2014: Public Inquiry held into Dart Energy’s plans for CBM at Airth
Summer 2014: UK Government announce plans to remove owners rights to say no to fracking under their homes and launch 14th onshore licensing round including 20,000 km2 in Scotland. Meanwhile the British Geological Survey publish shale gas resource estimates for Central Belt.
August 2014: Ineos announce move in shale gas exploration with purchase of 51% share in PEDL 133 in Falkirk
Autumn-Winter 2014: Growing anti-fracking movement organises huge demonstrations and street stalls engaging thousands of people across Scotland
January 2015: Scottish Government announce a moratorium on shale gas and coalbed methane
April 2016: Labour and Lib Dems joins Greens in calling for an outright ban on fracking, and the First Minister says she is ‘highly sceptical’ about fracking
November 2016: Claudia Beamish MSP launches her private member’s Bill to Ban Fracking
November 2016: Scottish Government publish research on health, climate, economics, transport, earthquakes and decommissioning
May 2017: Over 60,000 responses to Scottish Government consultation on fracking

5. 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.