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BEIS report reveals record low public support for fracking

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A new report published by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has revealed a drastic drop in the number of people lending their support to shale gas fracking in the UK.

According to the Department’s latest Energy and Climate Change Public Attitudes Tracker, just 16 per cent of Britons now support the controversial process – down dramatically from figures recorded last year, which found that almost a quarter (21 per cent) of people were in favour of fracking.

The figure also represents the lowest reading in the entire history of the Tracker, which was first launched five years ago.

The news comes at a time when the Government is facing mounting criticism over its lack of support for renewable energy and the renewables sector, amid concerns that Britain is no longer on track to meet its climate change targets by 2020.

Elisabeth Whitebread, energy campaigner at Greenpeace UK, compared the figures in BEIS’ report to those reflecting the number of people that back renewable energy initiatives.

“More than three quarters of people support renewables, so the Government should listen to their own opinion polls, stay true to their manifesto promise and support offshore wind and solar instead of a new fossil fuel industry,” she said.

“Concern about climate change is at its highest since 2012, and to meet our climate targets, we must leave fossil fuels in the ground.

“The fracking industry is pulling UK energy policy in entirely the wrong direction and the public is right to be concerned,” she said.

Rose Dickinson, campaigner at Friends of the Earth, added that the Government was fighting an “unwinnable battle for fracking support”.  

BEIS’ full Energy and Climate Change Public Attitudes Tracker can be accessed here.