Fracking is to be effectively banned in Manchester as part of the city’s efforts to become carbon neutral.
The expansion of fracking – fracturing of rocks deep underground to release shale gas – is a government priority as it wants to reduce dependence on gas from overseas.
But Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham wants to create ‘a presumption’ against the practice.
Mr Burnham said he hoped energy companies would respect the policy set in Greater Manchester and not apply to frack there. Fracking is to be effectively banned in Manchester as part of the city’s efforts to become carbon neutral [File photo]
The Labour politician said the city and its surrounding towns should concentrate on greener energy such as that from renewable sources.
Mr Burnham, wants Manchester to be carbon neutral by 2038 said: ‘It’s about embracing the future, not the past.
Cities like Greater Manchester need to join the group of leading cities on the world stage that are driving fast towards carbon neutrality. That is a big challenge and it must be embraced wholeheartedly.’
Mr Burnham’s commitment, part of the city’s planning framework, is to be launched on Monday.
Mr Burnham said he was also worried about earth tremors caused by fracking operations by Caudrilla in Fylde, Lancashire, which started in October despite protests.
The fracking was opposed by the local council but given planning permission after an appeal.
Seismic activity caused by drilling broke government imposed limits three-times in the run-up to Christmas.
‘For the legal limits to be breached so regularly is a worry. It’s hard to know what damage is being done,’ Mr Burnham told the Guardian newspaper.
Mr Burnham said he was also worried about earth tremors caused by fracking operations by Caudrilla in Fylde, Lancashire, above, which started in October despite protests [File photo]
‘It’s even more worrying in Greater Manchester, which is a much more urban place, where there is more contaminated land, more mineshafts.’
The mayor does not have the power to implement a full ban on fracking, as that would need a change in government policy.
Energy firms already have licences to pursue oil and gas reserves underground in the west and north of Greater Manchester and there was experimental methane and shale gas extraction at Barton Moss, Salford, in 2013-14.
Mr Burnham said he hoped energy companies would respect the policy set in Greater Manchester and not apply to frack there.
London Mayor Sadiq Khan has already said he will block any fracking plans in the capital.
Several other major councils – including Leeds, Wakefield, Hull and York – have expressed their opposition to fracking.
The Government wants to pursue shale gas extraction ‘where it is economically efficient, and robustly regulated’.