October 10: Golden age for fracking but not for humanity

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From: Chris Broome, Hackthorn Road, Sheffield.

KEVIN Hollinrake MP thinks that shale gas “has the potential to help move the UK to a low-carbon economy” (The Yorkshire Post, October 5). Elsewhere in his column, he refers to a very significant report written in 2012 by the International Energy Agency (IEA), probably the world’s leading authority on the global energy market.

This report, “Golden Rules for a Golden Age of Gas”, considers what will happen if a strong and well-regulated unconventional gas (including shale gas) industry develops globally.

It estimates that average global temperatures would rise above 3.5C - as would also be expected if they are not, based on current trends for usage of all other fossil fuels.

This is a long way above the internationally accepted target of 2C.

When it was put to IEA spokesman, Fatih Birol, that these findings make pretty grim reading, he replied “We are not saying it will be a golden age for humanity –we are saying it will be a golden age for gas.”

We need to reduce reliance on all fossil fuels more rapidly than our politicians have envisaged.

Thus this country should stop adding to the already oversupplied international gas market and move more directly towards a low carbon economy.