Letter to Greater Manchester Mayor


Elections for the Greater Manchester Mayor are to take place on May 4th 2017, and we want to make fracking a key issue. Seven of Greater Manchester’s boroughs are currently threatened by fracking and coal bed methane extraction, so it’s important that our Mayor takes a stand against this. So, we’re asking you to add your name to this statement and we will deliver it to the mayoral candidates before the election.

Statement on fracking from Frack Free Greater Manchester

I am /we are totally opposed to any proposal to extract “natural” gas (mainly composed of methane) by unconventional methods, for example through the process of hydraulic fracturing (fracking), for the following reasons:

  1. Experience from the USA and Australia shows that the process of fracking, and the extraction of other unconventional gas such as a coal bed methane, seriously harms the environment. It causes industrialisation of the countryside through the drilling of multiple wells and heavy lorry traffic; pollution of air, ground water and farmland by escaped gas and the toxic chemicals used to extract it; noise and light pollution; and earthquakes.
  1. These effects of fracking, and other methods of unconventional gas extraction, pose risks to human health; in particular, toxic chemicals used in the process have been linked to increased incidence of cancer, birth defects and lung disease (Medact Report March 2015)
  1. It is unlikely that regulation, however robust, could substantially reduce these risks, especially as unconventional gas extraction in the UK would be closer to densely populated communities than in the US or Australia.
  1. Unconventional gas extraction is incompatible with the UK’s commitment to tackle climate change, as embodied in the Climate Change Act (2008) and the UN Paris Agreement of 2015. A report on shale gas by the UK Climate Change Committee (July 2016) states that the production process, however well regulated, would involve significant ” fugitive emissions” of methane, a greenhouse gas around thirty times more powerful than carbon dioxide which would build up in the atmosphere during the next few crucial decades.

I / we call on our newly elected Greater Manchester mayor to press the UK government to follow the example of countries such as Scotland, Wales, France and Germany, and parts of the USA and Canada, by suspending or banning fracking and other unconventional gas extraction. And ask that the government, instead, encourage investment in renewable energy as part of a strategy to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions and avoid runaway climate change.

To add your name to this statement please email Frack Free Greater Manchester on info@frackfreegtrmanchester.org.uk with ‘Mayoral Statement’ and include your name and postcode in the body of the text.