Plans to force through fracking in the UK could release CO2 equivalent to the lifetime emissions of nearly 300 million cars, according to figures from the Labour Party.
According to shadow ministers, projected emissions from fracking would overshoot the UK’s current annual emissions 20 times over, ending any chance of complying with Paris climate obligations.
The UK holds an estimated 1,400 trillion cubic feet in shale gas reserves, of which roughly 10% should be recoverable through fracking.
New analysis by the Labour Party shows the environmental cost of this would be equivalent to the lifetime emissions of 286 million cars, or 29 new coal-fired power plants;or the emissions of 6,000 flights to Pluto and back in a standard passenger airplane.
The Government has repeatedly spoken in favour of fracking.
In 2013, the-then prime minister David Cameron argued that ‘we cannot afford to miss out on fracking’, calling for the practice to be expanded to ‘all parts of our nation’.
‘Fracking can’t be part of the solution to climate change,’ said shadow energy secretary, Rebecca Long-Bailey.
‘These figures demonstrate the enormous debt we owe to the communities and campaigners who have fought back against fracking and prevented the Tories from pushing our country off a climate cliff.
‘With the High Court ruling only this month that the government’s policy is unlawful and schoolchildren marching on the streets for climate action, the government needs to realise that this isn’t just a public relations exercise. It’s beyond time for them to change course and ban fracking before it’s too late.’
Commenting on Labour’s claims, Ken Cronin, chief executive of UK Onshore Oil and Gas said: ‘The carbon footprint associated with the combustion of natural gas is the same regardless of gas source, but UK shale gas has a pre-combustion footprint half that of the imported sources we are increasingly relying on to keep Britain moving. This is a fact that Labour conveniently ignores in its report, which simultaneously fails to explain how its estimates have been reached.
‘Globally natural gas consumption is forecast to increase as it displaces high carbon coal, while in the UK, 84% of homes rely on gas for heating that comes at one quarter the cost of their electricity.
‘Test 2 of the Committee on Climate Change report detailing how shale could be compatible with our climate targets asserted that UK shale should not breach gas consumption limits set under the Climate Change Act. Our members have committed to that requirement,’ added Mr Cronin.