Should this be a Turning Point for Fracking in the UK?

Photo: David Holt

It has just been announced that the UK's shale gas commissioner Natascha Engel is resigning after just six months in the job. She claims that fracking is being throttled by rules preventing mini earthquakes, and blames lobbying of the UK government by environmentalists for this cautionary approach (

Earlier in the week, the former head of the CBI, Adair Turner, said there was no place for fracking if the UK was to play its part in holding global temperature rise down to 1.5°C. Back in October a  report by the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) suggested that global temperature rise (compared with pre-industrial levels) needs to be kept below 1.5°C in order to prevent the more catastrophic effects of climate change. This was reiterated by the UN chief in Beijing yesterday - “The clock is ticking. Science has clearly told us that we have only 12 years for this transformation, if we want to limit temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius and avoid the worst impacts of climate change” (

There seems to be a consensus building that the lack of progress on reducing CO2 emissions over the past few years means that more urgent action is required. Over the past few months a global movement of young climate change protesters has been growing, inspired by the teenage environmental activist Greta Thunberg. The recent protests in London led by supporters of “Extinction Rebellion” were prompted by the assertion that we are facing an “unprecedented global emergency” over climate change.

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