Two Impossible Things Before Breakfast – Carbon reduction and increase simultaneously a material planning consideration
A thought after reading the autumn statement, how can both reducing carbon emissions through renewable energy and increasing carbon emissions to the max (by manipulating the Carbon Budget) to boost growth through fracking be simultaneously a material consideration. Its like saying increasing flood risk and reducing flood risk are both good things at the same time. The government argument is an illogical and in my view unlawful fudge contrary to the Climate Change act and so I believe any planning application for fracking approved on this basis would be well worth a legal challenge.
Of course the government could settle the issue and be honest and say in a revision to the NPPF that carbon impact was a material consideration against fracking but energy and growth issues outweighed this. Of course the latter would be hard to prove given the research both by the climate change committee (claiming Fracking will put up Bills) and the support for this position by Ed Davy. But of course this is a government marked by incompetence, incoherence, lack of evidence and backfoot reaction on every policy issue. Unless the NPPF is changed though I don’t see a viable path to approval for any fracking scheme.