No amount of spin or legal obfuscation can reconcile the UK government’s clamour for shale gas with its obligations as enshrined in the Paris climate change agreement. Consequently, when the UK’s communities secretary, Sajid Javid, gave the go-ahead for fracking in Lancashire (Report, 7 October), he was making a clear statement that the government has no interest in abiding by either the spirit or the maths of the Paris agreement.

Shale gas is a high carbon energy source. When used for generating electricity its emissions of carbon dioxide are about 30-90 times higher than the full lifecycle emissions of either renewables or nuclear. Given the rapid phase-out of the UK’s existing coal power stations, shale gas will not be produced at sufficient scale and in the necessary timeframe for it to be a substitute for coal.

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Source: Guardian Environment