Tuesday, October 22, 2013

So what fracking happened?

This weekend just gone past I went to the Global Frackdown event in Perth during the Scottish National Party Party Conference under much rain and annoyed at myself for having forgotten my umbrella (of which I have five and anyone of them could have done, anyway...).

Just to give an update on what happened and what we achieved. Global Frackdown Day is an international opportunity for people to call on governments to stop dirty gas exploration and at the event in Perth Paul Wheelhouse, Minister for Environment and Climate Change spoke to the crowd of concerned citizens and environment groups. Mr Wheelhouse handed over a letter to Friends of the Earth Scotland (FOES) from Planning Minister Derek Mackay stating they had listened to feedback on their draft planning proposal and are planning to introduce buffer zones around unconventional gas developments. 

Mary Church who is FOES' Head of Campaigns said "We welcome the Government's recognition that buffer zones are necessary to protect communities from the worst impacts of gas drilling and fracking, and urge them to go further and join France, Ireland and many others by putting a stop to all fracking and unconventional gas activity.  If Scotland is to play its part in reducing global greenhouse gas emissions, we need to leave this fossil fuel in the ground."

I then headed over to the fringe event taking place by Concerned Communities of Falkirk (CCoF) on Falkirk Against Unconventional Gas where some excellent presentations were made on what is fracking, how it affects the Falkirk area and those living there, how the planning and consultation process was worryingly and woefully lacking and shocking and finally what the community did to fight back including drafting their own Community Charter. Angus MacDonald MSP for Falkrik East also relayed the Government's announcement about the buffer zones at the fringe event and CCoF replied by saying 
"The Herald article notes that Dart Energy say these changes to the Scottish Government's policy on unconventional gas will not affect their plans for coal-bed methane drilling in Airth, so Falkirk residents are still under threat. Moreover, although buffer zones are a good start they are unlikely to fully protect our land, water and communities against unconventional gas drilling risks."

If you want to find out more about Global Frackdown and what went on around the world please CLICK HERE
If you want to find out more about what FOES is doing about unconventional gas please CLICK HERE

If you want to find out more about CCoF and Falkirk Against Unconventional Gas please CLICK HERE

To read the Herald article please CLICK HERE

My placard for the Global Frackdown event

Paul Wheelhouse, Minister for Environment and Climate Change with concerned citizens

Friends of the Earth Scotland Fracking Crane at Global Frackdown event

My brave placard just held out for the event under the pouring Perth rain

Gordon Fowler for CCoF speaking at Falkirk Against Unconventional Gas fringe event at the SNP Party Conference

Angus MacDonald MSP delivers news of Scottish Government buffer zones to the fringe meeting (that's me just behind him looking very pensive - I was listening!)

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