PHOTO CALL: 12.30pm, Wednesday 6th July – Campaigners will make a symbolic ‘red line’ outside the fracking conference at the Manchester Conference Centre, Sackville Street, M1 3BB
Campaigners from Frack Free Greater Manchester, Manchester Friends of the Earth, Reclaim the Power, Greenpeace, and the Campaign Against Climate Change will hold a ‘red lines’ climate change protest outside a conference sponsored by the fracking industry.
The rally will take place at 12:30PM on Wednesday 6th July 2016 outside the Manchester Conference Centre on Sackville Street. Campaigners will wear red to symbolise the ‘red lines’ that the world must not cross in order to avoid dangerous climate change. This follows on from a similar action in Paris last December when 10,000 people rallied Paris to demand further action after the Paris Agreement. (1)
The ‘Planning and Environment’ conference is sponsored by United Kingdom Onshore Oil & Gas (UKOOG) and aimed at planning and regulatory authorities.(2)
The Government was due to publish a report by the independent Committee on Climate Change on the impact of fracking on climate change earlier this year. The report is believed to show that fracking is far worse for the climate than previous reports, due to new estimates of the ‘fugitive emissions‘ (3) and the IPCC re-evaluating the climate change potential of methane (4), but publication has been inexplicably delayed (5).
The Fourteenth Round of licensing in December 2015 opened up large parts of the north of England for fracking, including areas covering six Greater Manchester boroughs (6).
Campaigners are calling for investment in renewable energy instead of fracking. A Greenpeace report showed that a push for Green energy would create 5 million new jobs worldwide, whilst a business-as-usual scenario would see employment decline (7). A report by The Campaign Against Climate Change, looking at the potential for both renewable energy and energy conservation, estimate one million new jobs could be created in the UK (8). A report from Friends of the Earth, supported by PCS Union and North West trades councils, estimated that exploiting the North West’s huge renewable energy potential and saving energy in the region’s homes could support another 24,000 jobs. (9)
The latest opinion tracker from Department of Energy and Climate Change shows support for fracking has plummeted to an all-time low of 19%, whilst support for renewables remains high at 81% (10).
Martin Porter of the Manchester Greenpeace Network said “Fracking isn’t just something we mustn’t do, it’s something we’d be mad to want to do. Instead of a toxic nightmare in Bury, Bolton or Wigan, we could have Green energy jobs across the whole of the region.”
“The decisions we make now about energy will echo down the ages. It’s crucial that we get this right,” said Frack Free Greater Manchester’s Jenny Ross. “Fracking is incompatible with our Paris commitments, and deeply unpopular with the public who question why we are exploiting ever more fossil fuel resources when we could be investing in jobs for local people in clean, green energy that won’t cost the earth.”
Judy Paskell of the Manchester Campaign Against Climate Change said “To have a reasonable chance of keeping global temperature rise below 2 degrees we need to leave 80% of existing reserves of fossil fuels in the ground. So we cannot allow a new source of fossil fuel, extracted at great cost to the health and environment of affected communities ,to take hold in the UK. Fracked gas is not part of the transition to a low carbon economy but a potent addition to the threat of dangerous climate change.”
Ali Abbas of Manchester Friends of the Earth said “People across Greater Manchester are rightly concerned about the risks that fracking poses to our health and the environment. We call on our local politicians to stand up to the Government and the fracking companies, and make it clear that fracking isn’t welcome in Greater Manchester.”
NOTES TO THE EDITOR