Government’s national park fracking ban should go further, say activists

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CAMPAIGNERS have said the government’s decision to ban fracking in national parks does not go far enough.

The government retreated over its fracking plans in parliament and agreed to ban fracking in areas like the South Downs National Park and set stricter conditions elsewhere.

But Friends of the Earth repeated its call for an outright ban, saying the concessions did not go far enough and would not prevent the current fracking applications in Lancashire, nor help with drilling in non-designated areas of Sussex.

Brenda Pollack, campaigner at Friends of the Earth, said: ‘Public opinion and increasing concern from MPs has forced a retreat on fracking, but these concessions do not go far enough.

‘It would not prevent fracking getting the green light in parts of Sussex, despite overwhelming opposition from local communities.

‘The only way to safeguard our climate, local communities and their environment from the fracking threat is to halt shale gas completely.

‘Ministers should stop believing their own fracking hype and concentrate on real solutions to the energy challenges we face.’

The government promised to introduce measures so fracking could go ahead only if it was shown to be compatible with climate targets. Its previous draft would have allowed operators access to national parks in exceptional circumstances.