Yesterday’s budget was delivered on the day that a 1.1 magnitude earth tremor stopped fracking here in Lancashire (again) and the day before a major new report by WWF found that humans have wiped out 60% of animals since 1970. And yet, in his budget, the chancellor failed to even mention climate change once.
As the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has stated, there is only a small window of 12 years to avert climate catastrophe, something that this Tory Government barely acknowledges. The stark decline in species highlighted in the WWF report should serve as a clear warning shot and impetus for action.
Today I have again written to the Government calling on them to cease fracking before it does any more damage. Cuadrilla do not deny that it is their fracking which is the cause of 18 tremors since work began a few weeks ago – in fact they say this is ‘inevitable’ – surely yet another sign of the damage that fracking does to the earth. Cuadrilla also says ‘there is no cause for concern.’ At a time of worrying reports of the threat of climate change, and with an ever narrowing window of opportunity to make a change to safeguard the planet, now is not the time to explore new ways of extracting fossil fuels, instead we should be pioneering new green renewables.
The Labour Group on Lancashire County Council is calling for fracking to be suspended and an independent inquiry to be held into recent earthquakes at the Preston New Road site.
At the time of writing this, MPs are preparing to go head to head debating the Government’s plans to make shale gas drilling ‘a permitted development’, which means firms would not need planning permission to set up a drill site like the one at Preston New Road. I hope Tory MPs do the moral thing and make the future of the planet more important than voting in favour of this anti-democratic and environmentally damaging proposition.
Britain desperately needs a government that understands the scale of the climate and environmental crisis unfolding, with the policies and ambition to demonstrate national and international leadership.