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Northern Ireland adopts 'no fracking' policy

Environment minister Mark Durkan has published a strategic planning policy statement for Northern Ireland, which says that for the first time there is a ‘no fracking’ policy.

The statement says that the Department of the Environment’s policy could only change if, in the future, the government is “satisfied that there is sufficient and robust evidence on all environmental impacts of fracking.”

Durkan said: “Significantly for the first time, no to fracking is actually enshrined in policy unless there is sufficient and robust evidence of its safety on all environmental impacts. I believe this is a sensible and reasonable approach.”

The policy statement published by the Northern Ireland Executive can be found on the Department of the Environment’s planning portal.

In January, Scottish energy minister Fergus Ewing announced a moratorium on granting consents for “unconventional oil and gas developments” in Scotland, while further research and a public consultation is carried out.

In August, 12 energy firms were promised licences to carry out fracking across 27 locations in the UK.

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