A new scientific study into the cause of global methane emissions has been published today. The report – Ideas and perspectives: is shale gas a major driver of recent increase in global atmospheric methane? – was written by climate scientist, Professor Robert Howarth from Cornell University.
He concluded that the emissions from fracking “makes up more than half of the total increased fossil fuel emissions”. And that in other words, the “commercialisation of shale gas and oil in the 21st century has dramatically increased global methane emissions.”
He also talks about the 2018 report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, where the climate is impacted by methane and that reducing methane in the atmosphere is one of the best methods to mitigate global warming.
Howarth found that:
“…natural gas (both shale gas and conventional gas) is responsible for much of the recent increases in methane emissions, we suggest that the best strategy is to move as quickly as possible away from natural gas, reducing both carbon dioxide and methane emissions. Natural gas is not a bridge fuel.”
My own views on today’s finding are as below:
“This latest report adds weight to the common-sense view that there is no place for fracking in any energy strategy fit for purpose. There is an abundance of renewable energy sources still to be brought into the electricity grid, and that is where the UK government should be focussing its attention and resources.
“Across Europe, renewable energy is being developed and grows continually. This is the direction the UK should be heading in, not looking backwards at dredging up yet more dirty fossil fuels.
“Just today, it was reported that Europe has enough land space to house wind turbines that could power the entire world, with wind energy being cited as a major clean power source to help mitigate climate change.
“It was also published today, that over 150 MPs, including 35 Conservatives, have written to Prime Minister Boris Johnson, urging him to consider more wind farms for the UK, demonstrating a turn in the tide for renewable support.”
“The untapped potential of a clean energy revolution has hardly been explored – we are just on the edge of technology here. Forging forward with a Green New Deal could be a game-changer for energy production and sustainable living.
“Fracking is not a bridge to a cleaner future – it is simply another fossil fuel. We should be banning fracking and transitioning to a low carbon society with great urgency.”