Climate Emergency


All right minded people know that there is a climate emergency. On 9 July Surrey County Council, the planning authority which will decide this application, declared a Climate Emergency.  Surely this has to mean something.  
However, the current Government still supports onshore oil and gas extraction on the UK mainland but now some sections are frantically trying to catch up with the public mood and there is now conflicting policy in different parts of Government. As one of her final acts as Prime Minister, Theresa May finally bowed to the overwhelming evidence before her own eyes on the destructive impacts of climate change when she finally noticed glaciers receding in the Swiss Alps (she has been going there for 10 years so about bloody time, one might say). In late June 2019 she pushed through a short change to the Climate Change Act of 2008 legally committing the UK to achieve net zero carbon by 2050 in line with the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) recommendations made at the start of May 2019.CCC Chair, Lord Debden, said of this change “This is just the first step. The target must now be reinforced by credible UK policies, across government, inspiring a strong response from business, industry and society as a whole. See

Extinction Rebellion would say that we need to get to zero carbon by 2025 so even more reason not to grant consent for oil and gas exploration at Dunsfold.

In Surrey planning policy is still pro-fossil fuels.  However in March 2019 the High Court ruled that paragraph 209a of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), which gave strong support to onshore hydrocarbon extraction, was illegal. Its subsequent removal from the NPPF means that the planning policy system is no longer as heavily weighted in favour of the grant of planning permission for onshore hydrocarbon operations as it was before the court decision and some balance has been reintroduced.  As a result Surrey County Council should take more account of the adverse impacts the grant of this application would have on both the climate and the local environment.


Oh, and by the way, Jeremy Hunt also says he supports fracking ……….