MP Julian Huppert has won an outright ban on fracking in some of Britain’s most protected countryside.
In response to a Lib Dem amendment to the Infrastructure Bill, which Julian co-sponsored, the government has agreed that fracking cannot take place in National Parks, areas of Special Scientific Interest and Outstanding Natural Beauty.
And he gained an agreement from the government that if fracking is found to increase carbon emissions underground drilling rights will be halted or an explanation will be given to Parliament as to why no action is being taken.
Julian said: “This is an important step forward. We have given protection in law to the most important and sensitive areas of our countryside and made the government accountable to Parliament if fracking is found to be contributing to climate change.
“I don’t want to see fracking happening anywhere in the country, but if it is to take place this should be with explicit consideration of its impact on climate change and with a view to protecting our finest countryside.
“Disappointingly, my call for a moratorium on fracking was defeated but given the enthusiasm from the Conservatives for fracking, backed by Labour, I think we can be pleased with the concessions we secured even though they don’t go far enough.”
Julian’s stand against fracking won support from environmental campaign groups, Friends of the Earth and the RSPB.
He cited a paper published recently by the scientific journal Nature showed that a boom in shale gas extraction would likely squeeze out the development of the renewable energy section.