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Opposition to fracking at highest level ever, government figures show

OPPOSITION to fracking is at its highest ever level, government figures revealed today.

The government’s Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Department (BEIS) carries out quarterly Climate Change Public Attitudes Tracker surveys.

The latest, the 29th, shows public opposition to fracking stands at 40 per cent, the highest level of opposition since surveys began seven years ago. It was previously 35 per cent.

Only 12 per cent of respondents said they support fracking — down 1 per cent.

The figures were welcomed by anti-fracking campaigners and environmentalists.

Claire Stephenson of Frack Free Lancashire, where energy firm Cuadrilla is carrying out gas extraction, said: “The results are indicative of the battle the shale gas industry has faced since appearing in communities where they are not wanted.

“The long-term trends are clear. Fracking is continuously and increasingly failing to win the support of communities, in spite of intensive greenwashing efforts by the industry.”

Friends of the Earth clean energy campaigner Jamie Peters said: “With support for fracking at all all-time low and overwhelming public concern about climate change, it’s time to pull the plug on this destructive, unnecessary and unwanted industry.”

Environment Secretary Michael Gove has refused in Parliament to set a timetable of action to reduce Britain’s carbon emissions to zero by 2050.

Questioned by Labour shadow environment secretary Sue Hayman, he said there was a need for “a broader suite of measures which every government department from the Treasury to my own is committed to ensuring we deliver.”

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