Welsh councils could be acting unlawfully by continuing to invest in companies involved in fracking, a report has claimed. More than £600m had been provided by council pension funds to firms with fracking operations overseas. Campaigners argued the situation appeared “to fly in the face of the Wellbeing of Future Generations Act”. Council leaders said “great consideration” was given to making responsible investments. The Welsh Government is currently consulting on its position not to grant new licences for fracking in Wales, having had a moratorium on the practice in place since 2015. In October it is set to receive control over the consenting process from Westminster.
BBC 3rd Sept 2018 read more »
Local UK council pension funds have more than £9bn invested in companies engaged in fracking, despite fierce debate over shale gas exploration. Some councils have more than 5 per cent of their funds invested in companies that use hydraulic fracturing to release gas from shale rock, according to research compiled by Platform London, 350 and Friends of the Earth, the campaign groups. A third of the UK public said they were opposed to fracking in a government survey last year, compared with 16 per cent who were in favour. About half of respondents were neutral. The extraction of previously inaccessible gas has divided opinion. Opponents argue that fracking causes environmental damage while supporters say it has revitalised the energy industry, creates jobs and provides cheaper energy. The issue has flared in the UK in recent months over the decision to allow Cuadrilla Resources, the shale gas explorer, to start fracking in the UK’s first commercial well in Lancashire.
FT 3rd Sept 2018 read more »