Shale gas may have a high carbon emissions cost 2nd December, 2011 Thomas Ridgley
The UK may be unable to reduce its carbon footprint if shale gas reserves are recovered, according to a new report from the Co-operative Group.
Vast reserves of shale gas have been found in Lancashire in recent months, but the process has been met with controversy after a number of small earthquakes in the area following test drilling and worries about pollution.
The new study, completed at the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research in Manchester, has revealed that if shale gas is used it would account for nearly 15% of the UK’s total allowed carbon emissions up until 2050. Recovering 20% of Lancashire’s gas resources would produce 2 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide.
Paul Monaghan, head of social goals at the Co-operative, said: “This authoritative report shows that a new dash for gas is incompatible with the UK’s carbon reduction targets and that a complete re-appraisal of approach is needed.”
Kevin Anderson, professor of energy and climate change at the Tyndall Centre said: “Consequently the government faces a difficult choice: to lead a new and low-carbon energy revolution or stick with high carbon fossil fuels, forgo its emissions targets and relinquish its hard-won international reputation on climate change.”
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