Delegation of Kirklees residents to speak to councillors against fracking

Kirklees Council fracking lobby Dec 2013

A delegation of Kirklees residents will be attending the full council meeting on Wednesday 15th January to speak in support of the Kirklees Green Party’s anti-fracking motion. The delegation, which will include members of Friends of the Earth and Kirklees Campaign Against Climate Change will speak for five minutes at the opening of the session.

The delegation will outline the main reasons for opposing fracking, particularly the risks of ground water contamination and the increasing use of fossil fuels driving climate change.  They will explain the ways in which the government’s gas strategy is flawed: it will be unlikely to reduce bills, reduce our carbon footprint or increase our energy security.

The Green Party motion calls on the council to develop a policy on shale gas and coal bed methane and calls for increased funding to develop the green economy in Kirklees in order to create jobs and stabilise energy bills. A very similar motion, submitted by Green Party councillors was passed by Sheffield Council earlier this year. This motion was originally submitted in December but time ran out before the vote could take place.

Groups opposed to fracking have demonstrated how the government’s ‘dash for gas’ strategy (which includes fracking) is economically and environmentally damaging as it reduces the UK’s energy security, threatens our climate targets and exposes the country to rises in the price of imported gas.  In May the government’s independent advisors, the Committee on Climate Change produced a report ‘Next Steps on Energy Market Reform’ that stated that clean energy would save households £1,600 by the 2020s.

The vote on the Green Party councillors’ motion on fracking will only take place towards the end of business and could be displaced if other business overruns. If the vote takes place, it is likely to occur between 8pm and 9pm.  Campaigners intend to watch proceedings.

A lobby of councillors will also take place at the Corporation Street entrance to the Town Hall from 4.15pm -5.05pm- just as it did in December (pictured above).

Tim Padmore from Kirklees Campaign Against Climate Change says, “Although these motions aren’t binding, councils who pass motions against fracking send a signal to the gas companies that they are not welcome. That is the signal we want Kirklees Council- a council with a proud record on renewable energy and energy efficiency- to send. What we need, of course, is more renewable energy, including community projects like the excellent Valley Wind proposal.”

Notes/ references

Lord Stern’s comments on fracking

Lord Browne admits that fracking will not reduce prices

Water industry warns that fracking may not be feasible in many parts of the UK.

David Mackay statement on fracking and carbon emissions

Committee on Climate Change ‘Next Steps on Energy Market Reform’

Independent coverage of ‘Next Steps on Energy Market Reform’

Kirklees Council wins ‘gold’ Environment Agency award.




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