Friends of the Earth Scotland Parliamentary briefing on unconventional gas and fracking ahead of the debate on National Planning Framework 3 and Scottish Planing Policy. There is a growing body of evidence that environmental and health risks associated with onshore unconventional gas extraction, including shale gas and coalbed methane, are inherent and impossible to eliminate.

A key risk is in relation to our climate targets: unconventional gas extraction is energy intensive, fugitive emissions increase its carbon footprint and burning the gas contributes to climate change. There is also alarming emerging evidence about the potential public health impacts for communities living in and near gas fields.

Friends of the Earth Scotland consider that a ban on unconventional gas extraction is necessary if we are serious about meeting our climate targets and playing our part in keeping global warming below 2oC, and that Scottish Planning Policy is the most straightforward way to implement this. However, at the very least we consider that the proposal in the draft SPP for buffer zones around gas drilling sites must be strengthened to reflect evidence that indicates the worst of the health impacts are felt on communities living within 2km of extraction activities.