According to the British Geological Survey, fracking could release considerable fossil fuel resources contained in shale rock formations around the UK. Fracking is controversial, and even the government accepts that it will not reduce the price of gas, but much of the debate around fracking has centred on local pollution, which the industry seems happy to discuss.
It argues that the risks are manageable and can be worked around with appropriate regulation. However, there is an undeniable issue which the fracking industry does not seem to want to talk about: climate change.
We have already discovered more than enough oil and gas to push temperatures way through any notional safe limit. According to the Carbon Tracker Initiative, “Only 20% of the total reserves can be burned unabated, leaving up to 80% of assets technically unburnable”.
Climate change, resulting from the emission of carbon dioxide and accidental escape of methane, is the inevitable consequence of exploiting unconventional gas resources.
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