Written By: - Date published: 3:14 pm, June 11th, 2016 - 60 comments
Categories: climate change, Conservation, peak oil, the praiseworthy and the pitiful - Tags: climate change, environmental policy, fracking, Pce, Scotland
Imagine a country where the political divide is over whether to ban fracking outright or to be opposed to fracking but have a moratorium first in order to gather more evidence.
This parliament recognizes that, to meet Scotland’s climate change goals and protect the environment, there must be an outright ban on fracking in Scotland.
The SNP abstained, allowing Labour, the Greens and the Liberal Democrats to outvote the Tories in favour of the ban. While not binding, it does signal to the SNP what the rest of parliament wants, and is also a significant win for the anti-fracking movement locally and internationally.
Andy Wightman, Land Reform spokesperson for the Scottish Greens and MSP for Lothian, also put forward a successful amendment calling for “radical and ongoing reform to democratise land”.
The SNP, Labour and the Greens pledge to work together on land reform.
Meanwhile, in Godzone,
Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment published a report on oil and gas drilling and fracking in 2014.
The scope of this report was widened following feedback on the interim report, based on which the PCE concluded that concern was not about fracking per se, but about the spread of the industry that fracking enabled. The PCE found no evidence of major environment problems and that risks of a major problem are low, if best practices are followed. However, the PCE also found that New Zealand’s oversight and regulation was not adequate for managing the environmental risks. The 2014 report sets out recommendations to address regulatory shortcomings and concludes that the ultimate threat is climate change. The government is considering the PCE recommendations to improve regulatory oversight.
Even if we forego the precautionary principle and ignore the issues of land and water pollution, inadequate regulation, land grabs and sovereignty rights, earthquake risk, and indigenous rights, fracking is twice as bad for climate as coal. Fracking is incompatible with the Paris Agreement and preventing catastrophic climate change.
The Greens propose a NZ moratorium on fracking.
NZF propose using the existing RMA to manage fracking risk.
National supports more fracking.
[Usual rules apply: no climate change denial, or ‘we’re all going to die anyway/there is nothing we can do’ comments.]