I am appalled by the Government’s plans for granting fracking licences in the UK. The Government have the wrong priorities and should be investing far more in renewable energy and technology. In the long term this is what is best not just for our environment but for our economy too.

The Government had promised that there would be a ban on fracking in environmentally sensitive areas. However, they have now gone back on their word and are today attempting to push through weakened regulations through a parliamentary backdoor.

If these changes go through, shale gas drilling will be allowed in drinking water protection zones, important wildlife sites, as well as under the ground below protected areas such as national parks, areas of outstanding national beauty and world heritage sites. I believe these plans demonstrate the Government’s total contempt for our environment. They have also ended subsidies for renewable energy; allowed the use of pesticides that harm bees and other pollinating insects; scrapped commitments to energy-efficient homes; and removed tax exemptions for low-emission cars.

The last Labour Government, by comparison, successfully reduced carbon emissions and introduced the world’s first Climate Change Act in 2008. Furthermore, our manifesto at the last election included a commitment to banning fracking in national parks. Labour believe Britain must pursue a socially-just energy policy, at the heart of which needs to be consideration of the environment and climate change. The Government must listen to people’s worries and not railroad through changes to the legislation which may have damaging and long lasting effects on our natural environment.

For more information on my views relating to environment and energy, please see my blog.

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