Green Great Britain week is a tokenistic attempt to hide a series of climate wrecking decisions such as expanding Heathrow airport and forcing fracking on the local communities.
Fracking has begun in Britain for the first time since drilling caused earthquakes seven years ago.
Shale gas operator Cuadrilla confirmed the move at its Preston New Road site in a statement. “Hydraulic fracturing of both horizontal exploration wells is expected to last three months after which the flow rate of the gas will be tested,” it read.
The company’s operations outside Blackpool were given the final nod from government in September.
A last-ditch attempt to prevent it was launched by local resident Robert Dennett, who won an interim injunction against Lancashire County Council on the grounds that its emergency planning was inadequate. But on Friday, the High Court rejected the injunction.
More than 40 activists from campaign group Reclaim the Power also attempted to stop drilling by blockading the site with a van during the early hours of the morning. The erected a scaffold structure on top with a banner reading, “Stop The Start. Don’t Frack the Climate”.
Charlie Edwards, from Reclaim the Power said: “Today the government launched its ‘Green Great Britain’ week – a tokenistic attempt to hide a series of climate wrecking decisions such as expanding Heathrow airport and forcing fracking on the local communities.”
The government was heavily criticised by Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth and the Green Party for maintaining its support for the industry, despite warnings from climate scientists last week that time was running to keep global temperature rises within 1.5C.
It was also hypocritical in the light of energy minister Claire Perry’s request to its climate change advisers for advice on reducing the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions to net-zero, they said.
Catherine Early is a freelance environmental journalist and chief reporter for The Ecologist. She was formerly the deputy editor of the Environmentalist. She can be found tweeting at @Cat_Early76.