Scottish fracking ban confirmed following MSP vote

The Scottish Government's ban on shale gas fracking north of the border has been confirmed following a vote by MSPs in the Scottish Parliament.

Scottish Parliament: body backed fracking ban earlier this week
Scottish Parliament: body backed fracking ban earlier this week

In January 2015, the Scottish Government announced a moratorium on granting consents for unconventional oil and gas developments while more research and a public consultation were carried out.

The further research included a report by an independent expert scientific panel and a series of research projects to explore certain issues in more detail. These included examinations of economic, climate change, transport and community impacts.

In January, the Scottish Government launched a public consultation on the future of the unconventional oil and gas industry ahead of a final decision on whether to lift the moratorium.

Earlier this month, Scottish minister for business, innovation and energy Paul Wheelhouse told MSPs that the Scottish Government would permanently ban such operations across its territory.

Wheelhouse said that the decision followed "an extensive period of evidence gathering, public engagement and dialogue on the issue".

Earlier this week, MSPs voted overwhelmingly in favour of the Scottish Government’s decision. It means that an effective ban is now in place.

A strategic environmental assessment will now be carried out to assess the impact of the ban. A statement from the Scottish Government said that, subject to the outcome of this, it would take steps to reflect the ban on fracking in the next iteration of the National Planning Framework (NPF).

A review of the NPF was included in the Scottish Government’s latest programme for government, published in September.

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