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Fracking Motion passed at York LibDem Conference Spring 2016

June 15, 2016 12:48 PM

North Yorkshire activists against frackingYork Conference Spring 2016, Motion F6,

updating Party Policy on Fracking

Conference applauds the international agreement reached in Paris in December 2015, in which 195 countries agreed to act to avoid dangerous climate change by limiting global warming to well below 2oC, and if possible to below 1.5oC, above pre-industrial temperatures.

Conference reiterates its support for the Liberal Democrat aim of a zero-carbon Britain by 2050, as a contribution to this international goal.

Conference condemns the Conservative Government's assault on Britain's green industries, in particular renewable energy, which is not only incompatible with the UK's commitment to the Paris agreement but is also undermining a growing industrial sector with significant potential for jobs, exports and prosperity.

Conference notes, in contrast, the Government's extensive support for the extraction of shale gas by hydraulic fracturing ('fracking'), including legislating to allow fracking under national parks and other protected areas, and being prepared to override local authorities' decisions not to give planning consent for fracking.

Conference believes that:

1. Since fracking in the UK is not projected to produce significant volumes of gas for at least 10 - 15 years, shale gas will not replace coal in electricity generation, as coal is being phased out in any case in line with the UK's climate targets and EU air quality rules.

2. The prospect of the extensive production of shale gas is highly likely to undermine the investment in renewable energy, particularly in renewable heating, which will be needed to meet the UK's climate targets.

3. Therefore fracking will undermine the UK's ability to decarbonise its economy and fulfil the requirements of the Paris agreement and the UK Climate Change Act, let alone the Liberal Democrats' more ambitious target.

Conference also believes that fracking operations pose potential local environmental risks to groundwater quality and water supplies, from waste and air emissions, to health and biodiversity and to the geological integrity of the areas involved, risks likely to be exacerbated by the Conservative government's cost-cutting and deregulatory approach to compliance with environmental standards.

Conference also notes that for these reasons and others, the governments of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have all announced, or declared their intention to announce, bans or moratoriums on fracking.

Conference calls on the Government to ban fracking in England, and to adopt an energy policy based primarily on renewables and energy efficiency, which supports the implementation of the Paris agreement.

Applicable England. Passed without amendment by a large majority.

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