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October 18, 2016
During my five years running Greenpeace, we pushed for an increased number of wind farms, a more efficient national energy grid and restrictions on the use of hazardous chemicals.
We won every one of those battles.
But today Britain faces its biggest environmental challenge ever — tackling global warming while still keeping the lights on.
And as a lifelong champion of the Green cause, I’m convinced that fracking is not the problem but a central part of the answer.
Earlier this month the Government approved a shale gas project in Lancashire.
That’s a great start, but that’s all it is. We need dozens more like it if Britain is to meet our energy needs in the decades to come.
And if activist groups including Greenpeace really want to help the environment, they should stop protesting about projects like this and let them be built as quickly as possible.
Instead they should be focusing on Britain’s number one environmental priority — getting rid of our heavily polluting coal-fired power stations, which increase global warming and damage air quality.
The former Energy Secretary Amber Rudd said last year that Britain would stop burning coal for power within a decade.
That’s excellent news from a green perspective. But we need other things to fill the energy gap that’s left, otherwise Britain is going to run out of power.
Renewable energy is the best long-term answer. But there’s no chance it will be ready to fill the gap by 2025.
And the nuclear sector is also moving too slowly.
It’s important to push forward with both of those — but just as important is to recognise that, for the next few decades at least, gas is an essential part of the answer to Britain’s energy crisis.
The technology is already in place. It’s just half as climate-damaging as coal, according to one recent study. And almost every British home’s central heating runs on gas.
If we want to end coal by 2025, we have to step up gas power. So where are we going to get the gas from?....
Read the entire article in The Sun (United Kingdom).
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