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Support for Fracking Remains Low after Government Reintroduces Survey Question

Read time: 5 mins

By Ruth Hayhurst, Drill or Drop

The government has resumed its quarterly survey of public attitudes to fracking and shale gas. The latest results, published this morning, show support for fracking stands at 15 percent, down 3 percentage points, and opposition at 31 percent, down 1 point.

The previous Wave tracker survey, published in August 2018, dropped questions, for the first time since 2013, on whether people supported or opposed fracking.

At the time, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) said the questions would be asked only annually in future to allow space for “more focused questions” on subjects, such as consumer issues or employment rights.

But BEIS explained last week why the questions were returning:

With the UK entering a new era of shale gas exploration it is only right that we routinely gauge the opinion of the British public and so the questions on supporting/opposing shale gas development will return to each quarter of the tracker.”

The fieldwork for today’s results was carried out before a series of earth tremors linked to Cuadrilla’s fracking at Preston New Road near Blackpool.

This 1980 Shell Chemical Company Publication Outlines Plans to Create 'Grassroots' Campaigns

Read time: 5 mins
Shell TREND publication article

Originally posted on Climate Files.

This 1980 edition of TREND, a bimonthly Shell Chemical Company (Shell) publication, featured a series of articles on issues concerning the company, including: “Emerging techniques for effective corporate response to public issues,” the Chemical Manufacturers Association “Communication Action Plan,” “Individualism,” “Gasohol,” “The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision on OSHA’s Benzene standards,” and “Chemical feedstocks from synfuels.”

'This is What People Power Looks Like' — A Fracking Campaigner's Account of the Preston New Road Climate Rally

Read time: 3 mins
Preston New Road fracking camp climate rally

By John Hobson, chair of campaign group Defend Lytham

It’s nearly 11 o’clock and people are arriving in droves at Maple Farm. Cars are lining up patiently and parking next door and coaches from faraway towns are disgorging dozens of smiling people onto the pavement outside.

This is what people power looks like. 

The atmosphere is electric. There is a palpable feeling that something is changing as it becomes clear that there are not just a couple of hundred people here, but nearer to 1,000.

Government Meets Fracking Industry: Redacted Notes Show Energy Minister Claire Perry's Vision For 'Success'

Read time: 7 mins

By Ruth Hayhurst, Drill or Drop

Several shale gas wells in production would be seen as success by the government, according to recently released notes of a round-table meeting between the energy minister and the industry.

Once the first well was in production, the notes said, the government believed “we will be in a better position”.

And according to the notes, ministers intended to streamline regulation for shale gas and create a “UK model” for shale extraction that can be exported around the world.

Comment: The Courts are the Last Official Channel of Opposition, Heathrow's Third Runway Cannot Be Built

Read time: 3 mins
No to Heathrow campaigners

By Calum Thomas, sustainable transport and anti-aviation campaigner

Yesterday afternoon it was announced by a judge that five legal challenges to a third runway at Heathrow would be heard formally in court next March. This is significant because, had the judge ruled otherwise, this could have been an unceremonious end to official channels of opposition.

The courts are the final institutional check on our government’s decision to expand aviation in the U.K. As campaigners, we believe the idea of expanding airports, in full knowledge of the local social and health impacts, as well as the devastating human consequences of climate breakdown, is maniacal in its disregard for people and its lack of humanity.

Is Scotland still an international leader in tackling climate change?

Read time: 8 mins

By Ben Wray from Commonspace.

This is Climate Week in Scotland, just as scientists meet in the South Korean city of Incheon for crucial Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) talks ahead of a much anticipated report publication.

The anticipated outcome of the report (which will be published on 8 October) is that the IPCC will agree that emissions can rise no further than 1.5 degrees C above pre-industrial levels to stop catastrophic climate change. We have already passed the one per cent mark.

The Paris Summit agreed to keep emissions to “well below two degrees C above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase even further to 1.5 degrees C”, and a scientist at Incheon told the BBC that if the world were to adjust to fulfil the 1.5 degrees C limit “our lives would never be the same”.

Those talks come after a summer heatwave which has heightened consciousness around the issue of climate change around the world. After a summer of forest fires in Sweden, the issue became a hot topic in the country’s elections last month. And in Scotland concern about climate change has been rising, with the Scottish Household Survey published last month showing that Scots are increasingly worried that climate change has become an “immediate and urgent problem” requiring action, rising from 46 per cent to 61 per cent in the space of four years.

'This Won't Break Us': Lancashire Anti-Fracking Protestors Jailed

Read time: 2 mins

By Sara Stefanini for Climate Home News

Three anti-fracking campaigners were sentenced to prison on Wednesday for blocking shale gas drilling operations in northwest England.

Two protesters, Simon Blevins, 26, and Richard Roberts, 36, were sentenced to 16 months in prison. Richard Loizou, 31, was sentenced to 15 months, Lancashire radio station 2BR reported. A fourth protester, Julian Brock, 47, received an 18-month suspended sentence and ordered to 20 days of rehabilitation activity.

Leaked Doc: Poland's UN Climate Leadership Emphasises Need for Just Transition Away from Fossil Fuels

Read time: 5 mins
Leaked just transition declaration

By Karl Mathiesen, Megan Darby and Natalie Sauer for Climate Home News

Workers in the fossil fuel industry must be assured a “decent future” even as mines and plants are forced to close, according to a leaked draft UN declaration.

The draft, prepared by the Polish UN climate presidency and posted below, calls for a programme to monitor national progress on protecting workers and communities that rely on traditional industries.

The Polish government intends for heads of state to adopt the proposal at UN talks in December.

Comment: We Need to Galvanize a Mass Youth Movement to Combat Decades of Climate Inaction

Read time: 4 mins
Climate campaigners at the UN climate talks in Marrakesh in 2016

By Jake Woodier, a climate and social activist with the UK Youth Climate Coalition

We may look back at 2018 as the defining year that awoke many in the western world to the grave reality of the impact we’re having on the planet.

Record-breaking temperatures, increasing frequency of extreme weather events, droughts, floods, widespread crop failure and the fastest mass-extinction event in history. These are just a few of the myriad and complex effects of climate change happening right now. What’s more, rampant fossil fuel extraction, intensive animal agriculture, deforestation, and expansion of transport and aviation often go toward fueling Western lifestyles.

Open Letter: 75 Environmental Groups Call on Government to Abandon Drax Gas Plans

Read time: 6 mins

Environmentalists are urging the government to withhold support for what would be the UK’s largest gas plant.

A coalition of 75 groups has sent an open letter (published below) to the Planning Inspectorate and Energy Secretary Greg Clark, calling on the government to refuse to subsidise the plans.

Signatories include the Green Party, Friends of the Earth, and several Frack Free campaign groups.

Energy company Drax has submitted a planning application to replace its coal burning plants at a power station in Yorkshire with gas-fired units. The proposal was submitted after the government announced it would phase out all coal power generation by 2025. Drax is seeking government subsidy for the project. Today is the final day of consultation on the plans.