Young Friends of the Earth* press release
Embargo: For immediate release, Saturday 19th October 2013
Contact: Greg Hewitt, 07582 320346, email@example.com
Subject: PRESS RELEASE: Stop fracking with Young People’s Futures in the UK
Stop fracking with Young People’s Futures in the UK
Young Friends of the Earth today called on Lord Browne of Madingley to resign from his position in the House of Lords due to his vested interests in profiting from fracking. This amounts to an enormous conflict of interest because of his influence in government.
Lord Browne was former BP oil chief and is now head of the fracking firm Cuadrilla, which started drilling in Balcombe this summer resulting in huge anti-fracking protests.
The campaign group, made up of young people aged 18 - 30 from across the UK, protested outside of Riverstone House, an energy and power-focused private investment firm where Lord Browne is a key partner.
The action was part of Global Frackdown, a global day of action against fracking. Young Friends of the Earth are raising awareness of the dangers of ‘fracking’ for young people and for future generations and continuing the use of fossil fuels is likely to lead the world towards dangerous and irreversible climate change.
John Wilson, campaigner of Young Friends of the Earth, said:
“Young people in the UK are already facing rising debt due to unemployment and university fees. Now they face the threat of a toxic future from climate change.”
The group spoke to dozens of concerned young people and passers-by through the course of the day.
Greg Hewitt, another campaigner in the group, said:
‘With the price of gas continuing to increase the Government should be investing in clean affordable renewable energy, and not the dirty, expensive dash for gas.’
‘Everybody we spoke to today said that they don’t want to see fracking in the UK.’
‘Fracking produces more dirty fossil fuels that will cause more climate change and even the Government and the frackers admit is unlikely to lower our bills.’
Next year the Government’s dash for gas could quicken as it hopes to open vast swathes of the country to possible fracking with a new round of licensing. This could bring the threat of fracking to thousands more people’s doorsteps although Lord Browne and the Government have the power to prevent this.
The Government’s plans to punch thousands of holes across the country is at odds with public opinion. Recent polling shows that 52% of people would support wind turbines being built within 10 miles of their house compared to just 18% who would support shale gas wells1.
Notes to editors
- Fracking is a dirty word. The Government is threatening to puncture our green and pleasant land with countless fracking wells in a headlong dash for gas, with little thought to local people. Shale gas is a dirty fossil fuel that contributes to climate change, and it poses serious local environmental risks such as water contamination and shortages. Meanwhile, there’s plenty of evidence to suggest it won’t lower fuel bills, and it risks taking much-needed investment away from renewables and energy saving. For more information visit www.foe.co.uk/fracking.
- For more than 40 years we’ve seen that the wellbeing of people and planet go hand in hand – and it’s been the inspiration for our campaigns. Together with thousands of people like you we’ve secured safer food and water, defended wildlife and natural habitats, championed the move to clean energy and acted to keep our climate stable. Be a Friend of the Earth – see things differently. For further information visit www.foe.co.uk
- 1Opinion polling for Carbon Brief on 19 August: http://www.carbonbrief.org/media/224340/carbon-brief-shale-polling.xlsx
* Young Friends of the Earth is a grassroots network of young people and youth organisations working together on social and environmental justice issues. It works collectively on the local, national and European level, to inspire young people, organise actions and events and get attention in the media, in politics and among the general public on issues important to young people.