Permitted Development and Shale Gas Exploration

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 3:25 pm on 28th March 2019.

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Photo of Wera Hobhouse Wera Hobhouse Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Justice), Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Environment and Climate Change) 3:25 pm, 28th March 2019

This country has made great strides, and we are leaders, but we will fall behind badly if we do not keep up that lead. That is what worries me. Things have gone badly wrong in the last three years. We are living through a global climate crisis and we must align our policies to become carbon zero before 2050. I am sure the Government have read the report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

I have been campaigning against fracking since 2014. In Bath, not only is there concern about global warming; there is concern that fracking will interfere with our hot springs, causing unknown damage to the water table, our unique geology and the natural springs that are the very reason for Bath’s existence and prosperity throughout its rich history. There are additional concerns about the wider environmental damage, such as earth tremors, gas leaks and the huge water consumption the process requires. I do not know whether people have read the recent reports about water shortages. Why are we encouraging an industry that wastes water in this way? What are we doing? Why are we not listening to the environmental concerns?