With the war in Ukraine, the energy crisis eclipses the climate crisis. In Great Britain, Prime Minister Liz Truss announced Thursday lifting the moratorium on hydraulic fracturingthree years after the suspension in the country of this very controversial technique.
For Liz Truss, it is urgent”strengthen the country’s energy security“, while Russia has turned off the gas tap and energy prices are exploding.
100 new exploration and drilling permits will therefore be granted from October. However, the leader of the conservative government assures that these authorizations will only be issued there “where there is local support“.
This announcement angered the Labor opposition. That “shows that (the British) can never believe a word of this government“, shouted Ed MilibandLabour’s climate chief, who recalls that the Tories promised in 2019 that they would notwould not support hydraulic fracturing unless the science categorically shows that it can be done safely“.
Serious diseases and earthquakes
Also angered by environmental advocacy groups, which point out that hydraulic fracturing involves significant pollution risks, which are harmful to the environment and to human health, especially children’s health. A study published in August by US researchers shows that children who live less than 2 km from a hydraulic fracturing site have twice the risk of developing acute lymphoblastic leukemia.
Furthermore, this technique causes earthquakes, all for a low energy production potential. The moratorium suspending the activity had just been taken in 2019, after an earthquake in northern England with a magnitude of 2.9 on the Richter scale, due to hydraulic exploration work. “Hydraulic fracturing will have a negligible impact on the energy bill, while sending more climate-damaging emissions into the atmosphere“, sums up Danny Gross from Friends of the Earth.
By preventing focus on renewable energy development,”new licenses torpedo energy security“, assesses Greenpeace UK for its part.”They will take decades to start and the fuels will simply be sold to the highest bidder on the international market.“, adds the NGO, which plans to take legal action.
While most European countries have banned the exploitation of shale gas for several years, some are reconsidering this technique. In Hungary, this summer Viktor Orban approved the exploitation of a gas field in the western part of the country.
And the shale gas lobby has also found support with the Liberal Democratic Party (centre right) in Germany – a member of the governing coalition – as revealed by Survey Europe.
According to the IPCC, however, no new project involving fossil fuels should see the light of day on earth in order to maintain global warming at a sustainable level.