An Environmental Scientist at Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University warns that Fracking is “Inconsistent” with Climate Change Mitigation Policies Press Release by Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University, December 10, 2015, Canada News Wire
LONDON, Dec. 10, 2015 /CNW/ — As ministers from around the world gather at COP21 in Paris in a bid to come to an agreement on a new global climate compact, an environmental scientist from Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University has warned that the controversial method of fracking, which is being investigated by many countries as an alternative fuel source, is inconsistent with climate change mitigation policies.
Dr Philip Staddon, from the Department of Environmental Science at XJTLU, warns that fracking contributes both directly and indirectly to greenhouse gas emissions and, despite being “dubiously” portrayed as environmentally friendly, delays the transition to a low carbon future.
In an academic opinion piece for Environmental Science & Technology, co-authored with Professor Michael Depledge from the European Centre for Environment and Human Health, Dr Staddon states that addressing climate change and meeting the world’s energy needs are two of the greatest challenges that societies face, and that the search for inexpensive and plentiful energy supplies appears to be at odds with climate change mitigation commitments.
Evidence suggests that recent climate change arises primarily from human activities that release greenhouse gas emissions, including carbon dioxide, and methane, into the atmosphere.
“Lowering greenhouse emissions requires reduced dependence on fossil fuels, rendering…the search for new sources of oil and gas particularly perverse,” writes Dr Staddon in the piece.
“Expanding fossil fuel extraction capabilities sends the message that rapid climate change mitigation is neither urgent nor essential.”
The opinion piece highlights that the carbon footprint of shale gas carbon is very similar to that of coal when compared over 100 years and that evidence contradicts the view that shale gas is a “clean” or “environmentally friendly” energy source.
“The dangers posed by “greenwashing” shale gas as a route to climate change mitigation, are well documented. It is unimaginable that oil and coal reserves will be left in the ground, therefore shale gas represents an additional source of greenhouse gas emissions,” writes Dr Staddon.
Dr Staddon, whose research looks at the response of ecosystems to environmental change, especially climate change, added: “Government ministers are meeting at COP21 to discuss worldwide limits to greenhouse emissions, yet fracking for shale gas will extend the fossil fuel age, increase the costs of mitigation and drive up the cost of adaptation required to support human societies in a less hospitable climate. The negative financial impacts on economies and to human health will be externalised and borne by those often poorer societies most affected by climate change.”
[Refer also to:
Meeting global climate change goals means decreasing the use of coal and oil, and increasing use of natural gas….
Page 47: This approach, which leverages Alberta’s significant natural gas resources to maintain low electricity prices while reducing emissions, is important in aligning Alberta’s energy supply with global requirements to meet climate change goals.
Page 48: Alberta’s natural gas resources provide a low-cost, viable alternative which complements renewable sources.
Page 52: Leveraging the Advantage of Inexpensive Natural Gas
The availability of inexpensive natural gas for power generation creates the opportunity for significant emissions reductions in the electricity sector, with limited adverse impacts. [Why would the panel add such an obvious and odious lie?]