Reacting to news that a new anti-fracking campaign has been launched within the SNP in the run up to the party’s autumn conference, Ms Flick Monk, Unconventional Gas Campaigner at Friends of the Earth Scotland said:



“This new SNP anti-fracking campaign is a very welcome development and shows the great levels of opposition to unconventional gas among party branches and grassroots members. It is clear that local communities do not want their health and environment damaged by energy companies aiming to extract gas at any cost.



“SNP branches from all over the country have proposed a range of resolutions for the Party Conference calling for a complete ban on all unconventional fossil fuels. All eyes will now be on the party conference as SNP members will get the chance to debate how to go beyond the current moratorium and ban unconventional fossil fuels outright.



“The Scottish Government has taken an evidence-based approach to unconventional gas through declaring a moratorium on coal-bed methane and fracking. But with mounting  evidence from around the world showing that fracking, coal-bed methane and underground coal gasification pose huge risks for human health, the environment and the climate, it is time the Scottish Government stops this dirty industry from getting its foot in the door while it still can. The party conference provides a timely opportunity for the SNP leadership to listen to its grassroots members who are strongly opposed to energy policy that is risky, short-sighted and unsustainable.



“Also up for debate at the party conference is whether underground coal gasification should be included in the current moratorium on unconventional gas. We urge all SNP members to vote to put a halt to the very risky plans to set fire to undersea coal seams that would threaten people, wildlife and local economies in the Forth and the Solway.”



ENDS

Notes to Editors

 

The new group is called SNP Members Against Unconventional Gas (SMAUG) and has been created by a number of SNP grassroots activists.

The SNP conference is in Aberdeen from 15th-17th October and will debate unconventional fossil fuels on its first day. A number of branches have put in amendments to a weak resolution that has been accepted for debate.

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.