28 March 2019 – today’s press releases (overnight)

Good morning, gentle readers! As part of our experimentation with the press releases feature, we’re going to try something old, and something new. We’ll revert to catching up with the day’s releases at the end of the day, but instead of leaving the overnight embargoed releases until the end of the day, I’m going to try to get them to you first thing, whilst they’re still fresh, so to speak…

Lib Dems lead debate to end fracking

The Liberal Democrats will today lead a debate in the House of Commons calling for an end to fracking because of its adverse impact on the environment and its incompatibility with tackling the climate crisis.

Liberal Democrat Climate Change Spokesperson Wera Hobhouse, who is leading the backbench debate, is also expected to warn the Conservative Government’s proposed changes to planning permission for fracking sites would deprive local authorities of their “historic rights of self-determination.”

The debate comes hot on the heels of the #FridaysForFuture movement which saw Swedish student Greta Thunberg inspire hundreds of thousands of school pupils across the world to strike in aid of tackling climate change, including in the UK.

Speaking ahead of the debate, Liberal Democrat Climate Change Spokesperson Wera Hobhouse said:

There is no doubt that fracking causes a massive amount of harm to both the immediate environment and our wider countryside, bringing with it the potential threat of earthquakes, water pollution, and green spaces transforming into industrial landscapes.

Since the Conservative Government’s proposals on shale gas were announced, 300,000 people have signed petitions against their plans and forty councils have passed motions to reject them. They rightly demand better and it would be criminal to ignore them.

The Liberal Democrats stand with the tens of thousands of young people marching to demand the climate crisis is adverted. We are categorically against fracking, and the damage it would inflict on our environment. It’s time Conservative Ministers listened, and ushered in an age of renewables.

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