Bob Ward, policy and communications director at the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at the London School of Economics and Political Science, said:

“The decision to lift the moratorium on fracking does not seem to be based on the evidence presented in the report by the British Geological Survey. The moratorium was introduced in November 2019 after an assessment by the Oil and Gas Authority concluded that earthquakes of magnitude 3.5 or higher triggered by fracking could not be ruled out. Such events could potentially damage nearby buildings. The new report by the British Geological Survey presents no conclusive evidence that such events can now be ruled out.

“As long as the UK consumes natural gas there are good environmental and economic reasons to use domestic supplies of shale gas in preference to importing liquefied natural gas from other countries. However, this only makes sense if the shale gas can be extracted safely. Today’s decision appears to be based on the assumption that a higher level of risk to households is now acceptable.

“In any case, the decision to lift the moratorium on UK fracking will make no difference to the wholesale market price of natural gas and will not ease the cost of energy crisis.”

Keep in touch with the Grantham Research Institute at LSE
Sign up to our newsletters and get the latest analysis, research, commentary and details of upcoming events.