England’s Fracking Policy Unlawful, High Court Declares
In part of his ruling, Mr. Justice Dove found that the government had not taken up-to-date information on climate change into account when drafting its policy. This could make it easier for campaigners to challenge new fracking sites in the future on the basis of their climate impacts, The Guardian explained.
"The acknowledgement from the Judge, that climate change is a valid concern for campaigners and councils facing fracking planning applications, is a big win," Claire Stephenson, who was the claimant in the case on behalf of Talk Fracking, said in a press release.
Talk Fracking had challenged a particular paragraph in the government's National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) on two grounds, Leigh Day, the law firm that represented the group in court, explained.
- It did not take into account new scientific information that cast doubt on fracking's status as a relatively low-carbon fuel.
- It did not conduct a "lawful public consultation" before revising the policy.
Talk Fracking explained the first point in detail:
Talk Fracking argued that the government had acted unlawfully by adopting Paragraph 209a of the 2015 Written Ministerial Statement into a revised version of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), published in July 2018, without first reviewing new scientific data in a transparent manner.
New evidence published since 2015 completely debunks the government's claim that fracking has a lower carbon footprint than imported liquid natural gas (LNG). Instead, scientific evidence has suggested that fracking exacerbates climate change.
Justice Dove ruled in favor of Talk Fracking on both grounds, stating that the consultation "was so flawed in its design and processes as to be unlawful."
The government will now have to make arguments to the court about what changes it needs to make in the policy, which sets up guidelines according to which local authorities can make decisions about fracking, The Guardian explained.
"We note the judgment in the case brought by Talk Fracking, and will now consider our next steps," a spokeswoman from the Department of Housing, Communities and Local Government said, as BBC News reported. "Environmental protections are at the heart of our new planning rulebook, setting clear expectations for future development."
Jonathan Marshall, head of analysis at the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit, told The Guardian that the government was wrong to consider fracking a low-carbon fuel source.
"With the UK's electricity system almost free of coal, natural gas is now effectively the most carbon-intensive major source of power," he said. "Official advice from the Committee on Climate Change concluded that fracking was only compatible with national decarbonisation targets if the gas produced replaced higher carbon sources of energy."
- Trump Insider Embeds Climate Denial Into Agency Reports ... ›
- Climate Denier Is Named to Leadership Role at NOAA - EcoWatch ›
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
New Jersey is one step closer to passing what environmental advocates say is the strongest anti-plastic legislation in the nation.
Did you know that nearly 30% of adults do, or will, suffer from a sleep condition at some point in their life? Anyone who has experienced disruptions in their sleep is familiar with the havoc that it can wreak on your body and mind. Lack of sleep, for one, can lead to anxiety and lethargy in the short-term. In the long-term, sleep deprivation can lead to obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.
Fortunately, there are proven natural supplements that can reduce insomnia and improve quality sleep for the better. CBD oil, in particular, has been scientifically proven to promote relaxing and fulfilling sleep. Best of all, CBD is non-addictive, widely available, and affordable for just about everyone to enjoy. For these very reasons, we have put together a comprehensive guide on the best CBD oil for sleep. Our goal is to provide objective, transparent information about CBD products so you are an informed buyer.
The House of Representatives passed a sweeping bill to boost clean energy while phasing out the use of coolants in air conditioners and refrigerators that are known pollutants and contribute to the climate crisis, as the AP reported.
- Renewable Energy Could Power the World by 2050 - EcoWatch ›
- Net Zero U.S. by 2050? House Dems Unveil Sweeping Climate ... ›
- Delayed Senate Energy Bill Promotes LNG Exports, 'Clean Coal ... ›
By Governor Jay Inslee
Climate Week this year coincides with clear skies in Washington state for the first time in almost two weeks.
In just a few days in early September, Washington state saw enough acres burned – more than 600,000 – to reach our second-worst fire season on record. Our worst fire season came only five years ago. Wildfires aren't new to the west, but their scope and danger today is unlike anything firefighters have seen. People up and down the West Coast – young and old, in rural areas and in cities – were choking on smoke for days on end, trapped in their homes.
Fires like these are becoming the norm, not the exception.