Janet Russell asks the right question (Letters, May 30). What has happened to the report on shale gas by the UK Climate Change Committee (CCC)? When Professor Cowern and I gave evidence in February, we were assured that the report would be published no later than May. We have also been told unofficially that the CCC has accepted our data on fugitive emissions of methane and that shale gas is two times worse than coal from a climate change perspective. We also submitted a further paper towards the end of March, indicating that over half of the rise in atmospheric levels of methane seen globally since 2007 is due to oil and gas, notably shale extraction in the US, and that this is obscuring the rise in methane emissions from the Arctic. I suppose it would be highly embarrassing for the government if its “dash for gas” was found to be incompatible with our climate change commitments, agreed by the UN but implemented via EU legislation. Embarrassing unless the government accepted the scientific case and announced it was going to abandon fracking and invest in renewables.
Dr Robin Russell-Jones
Stoke Poges, Buckinghamshire
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