Anti-fracking groups from around Scotland will be gathering at 1pm outside the Scottish Parliament with banners and anti-fracking placards from their organisations

The Scottish Parliament will vote today (24/10/17) on whether to ban fracking. Friends of the Earth Scotland’s Head of Campaigns Mary Church said:

“The Scottish Government’s plan to ban fracking is fantastic news for communities and the environment. But we would like to see Ministers go even further and secure the fracking ban in law.

“Holyrood has already voted once to ban fracking and we fully expect it to do so again, with Labour, Greens and Liberal Democrats all outspoken in their opposition to this industry. By banning fracking Scotland will join the ever-growing list of states and regions to prohibit the industry.

“Unfortunately, the Government’s proposal falls short of committing to passing a law like recent bans in Ireland, Victoria and Maryland. This means that a future Government could overturn this decision with the stroke of a pen, while a ban in law would require Parliament’s approval to undo the ban on fracking. Powers over onshore oil and gas licensing are coming to Scotland and we want to see a commitment to use these powers to legislate against fracking as soon as they are in place.

“Labour’s Claudia Beamish has consulted on a private member’s Bill to Ban Fracking. This could put the SNP in an awkward situation when it comes to the vote with the Government forced to rely on the pro-fracking Tory party if they aren’t prepared to go for a full legal ban.”


Notes to Editors

Friends of the Earth Scotland spokespeople will be available for broadcast interview throughout Tuesday 24 October. FoES will also send picture desks free, press quality photos of anti-fracking activists outside the Scottish Parliament at 3pm on Tuesday 24 October.

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 will debate the motion from the Scottish Government from around 2:20 today and vote after 5pm: http://www.parliament.scot/parliamentarybusiness/28877.aspx?SearchType=Advance&ReferenceNumbers=S5M-08341&ResultsPerPage=10

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

4. In June 2016 the Scottish Parliament voted to ban fracking when Labour, the Greens and Liberal Democrats voted in favour of a ban, the Conservatives against, while the SNP abstained https://foe.scot/press-release/scottish-parliament-votes-to-ban-fracking/

5. 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

6. 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.