In the same week that the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has issued a key report giving the world 12 years to drastically reduce its carbon emissions, permission has been granted for fracking to go ahead in England for the first time since 2011.

Energy firm Cuadrilla can begin exploratory drilling as soon as tomorrow at its Preston New Road site in Lancashire after an application for an interim injunction launched by a protester was turned down in the High Court.  Fracking has not been permitted in England since a moratorium was brought into force after it was linked to several earthquakes in 2011.   Fracking at the site will involve pumping water, sand and chemicals at high pressure to fracture shale (a rock) found about 2km below the surface and to release gas trapped in the rock.  At this stage, permission has only been granted for exploratory drilling. To begin commercial fracking at the site, Cuadrilla will need to apply for further licences and permits.

Meanwhile, next Monday (15 October) will mark the start of the first ever Green GB Week, which is intended to showcase the benefits of clean growth.  The week marks the 10-year anniversary of the Climate Change Act, which committed the UK by law to cut emissions by 80% by the year 2050.  

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