Commenting on the news today (18/04/17) that Scottish Labour is pushing ahead with its Bill to Ban Fracking following a consultation that highlighted strong support for the law, Friends of the Earth Scotland Head of Campaigns Mary Church said:

“It's great news, although not very surprising, that Claudia Beamish MSP has received such a positive response to her Holyrood consultation on a law to ban fracking and will press ahead with her Member's Bill. The risks of fracking are clear and so are the grounds for banning it in the context of the climate crisis.

“While the moratorium imposed by the Scottish Government has halted the immediate threat, ultimately a legislative ban on fracking is necessary to end uncertainty for communities on the frontline of this dirty industry, and send a clear signal that fossil fuels have no place in our energy future.

“We urge MSPs and parties to get behind this Bill and work together to protect the environment and remove the threat of fracking from Scottish communities.”

Labour's Environment and Climate Change Spokesperson Claudia Beamish MSP has made it clear that the urgent need to tackle climate change and say no to new fossil fuels is behind her proposal to legislate against fracking.

Over 1,000 responses to the consultation were received, with 87% supportive of a ban. Ms Beamish will now push ahead with a Final Proposal for her Member's Bill.

The Irish Parliament is working towards a ban on fracking, and the states of Victoria, Australia and Maryland in the USA recently passed laws banning fracking.


Notes to Editors

Take action to call on the Scottish Goverrnment to ban fracking by responding to the public consultation now act.foe.scot/banfracking

The proposal for a Private Member's Bill to ban onshore unconventional oil and gas, including shale gas fracking and coalbed methane, was lodged by Claudia Beamish MSP, Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform Spokesperson for the Scottish Labour party on 3 November 2016, and the consultation ran until 17 February 2017. Details of the proposed Bill including the consultation document are available at http://www.parliament.scot/parliamentarybusiness/Bills/12419.aspx

On 1 June 2016 the Scottish Parliament voted to ban fracking and other forms of unconventional oil and gas extraction, with Labour, Green and Lib Dem MSPs voting together to defeat the Conservatives who opposed this move, and the SNP who abstained. The motion was non-binding on the Scottish Government http://www.foe-scotland.org.uk/PR-fracking-ban

The Scottish Government has had a moratorium on onshore oil and gas extraction in place since January 2015, and is currently running a public consultation 'Talking Fracking' before coming to a decision on the future of the industry by the end of 2017 http://www.gov.scot/Resource/0051/00513575.pdf.
In a recent update to Holyrood, Energy Minister Paul Wheelhouse has confirmed that the Scottish Government will “respect the will of Parliament on this issue” http://www.foe-scotland.org.uk/fracking-will-parliament

Maryland lawmakers votes to ban fracking (March 2017) http://thehill.com/policy/energy-environment/326078-maryland-lawmakers-vote-to-ban-fracking

Fracking ban to be introduced in Victoria, Australia (Feb 2017) http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-02-07/fracking-set-to-be-banned-in-victoria/8248948

Irish parliamentary watchdog backs fracking ban: 'Risks outweigh the benefits' (10 April 2017) http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/republic-of-ireland/irish-parliamentary-watchdog-backs-fracking-ban-risks-outweigh-the-benefits-35610627.html

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.