Following recent media interest in unconventional gas extraction, the Scottish Wildlife Trust’s Head of Policy, Dr Maggie Keegan, explains the Trust’s position: “Climate change is the biggest threat to wildlife we've ever faced. We must move towards clean, green energy generation as soon as possible – a renewable energy future is the only energy future.
“The Scottish Wildlife Trust believes that the Scottish Government should focus its attention and resources on fostering the development of well-designed renewables located in the right place, rather than diverting investment towards the extraction of a ‘transition gas’ such as methane.
“As has been highlighted by our Chairman in recent media interviews, unconventional gas extraction could pose a range of serious environmental risks and the Scottish Wildlife Trust strongly believes there are certain areas, such as protected sites, which must be completely off limits.
“The Trust takes an evidence-based approach and will object to any proposed extraction of shale gas or coal bed methane where there would be significant impact to wildlife, habitats or ecosystems.”
In March 2015, a coalition of environmental charities, including The Wildlife Trusts, RSPB, WWT and the National Trust released a report entitled ‘Are We Fit to Frack?’. The report concluded that “commercial shale gas extraction should only go ahead in the UK if it can be objectively demonstrated that the regulatory framework for the industry is fit for purpose, and offers sufficient protection to the natural and historic environment”, laying out strict recommendations for any unconventional gas extraction projects in the UK.