Greens take fracking ban to City Chambers

Green councillors are to seek council support for an outright ban on fracking and similar technologies in the Edinburgh Council area.

The six-strong Green councillor group are to table a motion at next week’s full council meeting pointing out the risks with unconventional gas, fracking and coal gasification; and the inconsistency with the council’s own commitments to reduce carbon emissions by 42% by 2020.

Cllr Chas Booth, Green environment spokesperson, said:

“While Edinburgh is not currently high on the list of potential sites where fracking licences are sought, we do have a large rural area immediately next to West Lothian where fracking is a live concern. And, of course, any activity around the Forth seabed would affect all councils which border the Forth estuary.

“So that is why I have tabled this motion seeking clarity on the city council’s position on fracking. It is a technology which puts at risk community and public health, the city’s own ambitious carbon reduction targets and Scotland’s real future in clean, green jobs.

“Over the last week I have heard a lot of bluster and bluff from senior Labour and SNP politicians, with weasel words about moratoriums and conditions, all of which leave the door open for fracking.  It is time to send out a clear message: fracking and similar techniques are outdated follies which are not needed, not wanted and must be rejected.”

MOTION FROM GREEN GROUP

Fracking and unconventional gas

This Council:

1. Notes concerns over the health and environmental impacts of unconventional gas, fracking and coal gasification;

2. Notes that, France, Ireland, the Netherlands, New York State and many other countries and states have implemented moratoria or bans on fracking;

3. Believes that allowing unconventional gas, fracking and coal gasification in Edinburgh would be inconsistent with the council’s climate change targets and would pose unacceptable risks to people’s health and the local environment

4. Calls for a report within three cycles to review the minerals policies in the Local Development Plan in light of new health concerns over unconventional gas, fracking and coal gasification, and to ensure the LDP is consistent with the Council’s sustainability policies and climate change targets;

5. Agrees that this report should also set out options for the council to implement an immediate ban on unconventional gas, fracking and coal gasification.