Investment in fracking denies proper support to cheaper renewables, says David Cragg-James; government policies are damaging the environment, says Michael Miller; and Charles Harris on the importance of voting to bring about change
Ian Duncan, the UK’s minister for climate change (Letters, 31 August), vaunts our achievements and “ambitions to become one of the cleanest and most innovative energy systems in the world”. He allows a generous 30 years before a “net-zero emissions economy is achieved”, when the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has made it clear that real change must be evident in fewer than a dozen years.
How can he hope to realise his longer-term targets while pursuing fracking as a transitional fuel? Investment in the hugely expensive development of fracking denies proper support to cheaper renewables, and delaying the switch ties the operator and investor into the production of a fossil fuel until a return is achieved. That exposes communities to the harms already documented, and contributes – by combustion, extraction and transportation – to the climate change the government hopes to mitigate.