IEEP Director debates the potential risks of hydraulic fracturing

David Baldock, Director of IEEP, along with Prof. Robert Mair of Cambridge University and Prof. Alan Riley of City University, spoke at a debate hosted by the Law Society in London on shale gas hydraulic fracturing on 9 October. With the UK government looking to provide tax incentives keen to encourage more rapid deployment of fracking the debate aimed to provide objective and factual clarification on the key environmental issues and the regulation of the controversial processes.

The panellists looked at various aspects of the issue including the geological situation, the legislation in the UK and the current EU policy.

David Baldock described the EU policy framework in place for the protection of the environment and discussed the role of shale gas in the UK energy mix, along with the climate implications. Amongst the principal concerns to emerge were the implications of scaling up fracking to a commercial level, the need to involve local communities adequately and the risk of diverting investments from renewable energy.

The debate was part of the Pamela Caste public debate series which aims to explore topics of contemporary environmental relevance