Sorry, shale gas isn’t green

The Independent, 21 May 2014:

Dr James Verdon (letter, 13 May) misrepresents the position of the IPCC.

Natural gas is less polluting than coal but this does not apply to shale gas because of the large amounts of methane released by fracking. Shale gas could only be part of a future energy mix if three important conditions are met. First that shale gas replaces coal and doesn’t just displace it to other countries. Second that methane releases are 10 times lower than current practices. And third that gas-fired power stations are fitted with an effective method of carbon capture (as stated in the IPCC press conference).

Since none of these conditions currently apply, shale gas is inconsistent with a low carbon future.

Dr Robin Russell-Jones, Stoke Poges, Buckinghamshire