Putting the ban into the National Planning Framework will ensure that the democratic will of parliament will remain, even if there is a change of government.Mark Ruskell MSP
The Scottish Greens today (24 Oct) voted, along with a majority at the Scottish Parliament, for a reinforced and lasting fracking ban in Scotland.
A majority of MSPs voted in favour of a Green amendment which commits the government to include its intention to ban fracking in its Energy Strategy and in the next National Planning Framework.
Additionally, the Scottish Parliament has now asked for new licensing powers for onshore oil and gas to be transferred from Westminster.
Mark Ruskell MSP, the Scottish Greens’ climate and energy spokesperson, says that today’s vote was “historic” and that MSPs have ensured that the democratic will of parliament on fracking will endure.
At the Scottish Green Party’s autumn conference at the weekend, members unanimously voted for a permanent ban on fracking.
Ruskell, a Mid Scotland and Fife MSP said:
“This is a historic moment and a turning point in our story. Greens have opposed fracking from the start and we welcome the consensus that has grown between progressive parties on the issue in this parliament over the years.
“Fracking is the toxic fag end of the fossil fuel age and it was right that the Scottish Government brought in a temporary moratorium on decisions through a letter to planning authorities, but this would only require the stroke of a future minister’s pen to undo.
“Putting the ban into the National Planning Framework will ensure that the democratic will of parliament will remain, even if there is a change of government. It will put the ban on the same footing as the ban on new nuclear power stations, providing direction on a national strategic issue, extending the ban beyond the life of this current parliament while giving guidance to local authorities for the next fifteen to twenty years.
“This was our moment to ban fracking and I’m proud that we took it.”