Quakers in Britain welcome Scottish Government decision to ban fracking.

By staff writers
October 6, 2017

Quakers in Britain have welcomed the Scottish government announcement on 3 October 2017 that fracking is set to be permanently banned following "overwhelming" public support for outlawing the controversial process,

The proposed ban will make use of planning and environmental regulation powers devolved to Scotland from Westminster, will be put to the Scottish Parliament for a vote later this year. It is expected that the ban will successfully pass through this process.

More than 60,000 people responded to the Scottish Government's four-month consultation on fracking, with 99 per cent opposing the technique

Quakers are led by faith to cherish the earth for future generations and  have been calling for action to keep fossil fuels in the ground. This includes a ban on fracking for shale gas and oil, and underground coal gasification.

In 2013, Quakers in Britain stopped investing in companies that extracted fossil fuels and over a quarter of regional groups have followed suit.

The Scottish environment  minister Paul Wheelhouse has confirmed that the Scottish Parliament will vote on the issue this month. He said a three-year ban on all test drilling for unconventional oil and gas sources will remain in place indefinitely. Many people in Scotland called for this ban in January 2015, despite pressure from industry and some SNP ministers to approve exploration.

The UK Government has given permission for fracking in England. Marking Quaker Week (30 September - 8 October 2017), some Quakers in Britain have raised the issue with their MPs. Many have protested at proposed fracking sites. Quakers from Lancashire, Yorkshire and across the north regularly hold a peaceful Meeting for Witness  at Cuadrilla's fracking site at Preston New Road, Lancashire.

Mairi Campbell-Jack, Scottish Parliamentary Engagement Officer for Quakers in Britain, said, “Quakers in Scotland are led by faith to oppose fracking, and are delighted that the Scottish Government has listened to our voice. We recognise that climate justice is far from achieved, and would urge all governments in the UK to work towards realising this goal."

Meeting for Sufferings, Quakers' representative body has said, “The UK needs to be investing in efficient and renewable energy, and reducing demand, not in additional fossil fuels. Fracked gas is not the low-carbon solution some suggest that it is and is incompatible with tackling the climate crisis. It is destructive of the environment, land and communities."

* Quakers are known formally as the Religious Society of Friends. Around 23,000 people attend 478 Quaker meetings in Britain. Their commitment to equality, justice, peace, simplicity and truth challenges them to seek positive social and legislative change.

*Quakers in Britain http://www.quaker.org.uk/


Although the views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent the views of Ekklesia, the article may reflect Ekklesia's values. If you use Ekklesia's news briefings please consider making a donation to sponsor Ekklesia's work here.