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Scotland’s Onshore Unconventional Oil and Gas Policy

Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament on 3rd October 2019.

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Photo of Claudia Beamish Claudia Beamish Labour

I thank the minister for advance sight of the statement.

As Scottish Labour’s spokesperson for environment and climate change, I have joined campaigners from across Scotland and worked with non-governmental organisations that have supported us in the fight against fracking for years, for our water, air and land and for our communities. Fuel from onshore fracking is not a transition fuel; it is a toxic new industry, as has been shockingly proven in England and across the globe.

No doubt Ineos and the whole industry will finally grasp the message loud and clear: no fracking here! Crucially, however, it is not a legal ban, which is what my proposed prohibition of fracking bill could still deliver.

I welcome the Scottish Government’s policy position of no support for fracking and the robust evidence underpinning it, but I seek assurance from the minister on how that position will be kept secure under future Governments, and protected from the whims of future ministers.

The Parliament agreed to an amendment in my name to ensure that the national planning framework review would further reinforce the Scottish Government’s position by having it taken forward by the chief planner, with no licences being issued in the future. Can the minister confirm categorically and guarantee that the NPF process will be completed in this parliamentary session?

Does the minister agree with me that his no fracking in Scotland statement will reinforce the signals sent to everyone by our new Climate Change (Emissions Reduction Targets) (Scotland) Act 2019 that sustainable, unionised jobs through just transition as part of the green jobs revolution is what we must all work for?