This is the panel in the House of Commons on 24 May 2016 at a briefing for MPs on the health effects of diesel with particular reference to the impact on the foetus. From left to right:
- Dr Robin Russell-Jones
- Yolla Hager, CEO of HEAT (Not the magazine) but the US company that makes EDAR device which is like a speed camera but detects polluting vehicles and snaps the number plate
- Geraint Davies MP and member of the House Of Commons Environment audit Committee
- Linda Gomersall, CEO of Autogas that supplies LPG to the UK market
- Professor Martin Williams (third Welshman in the line-up) from the Air Quality Division at Kings College London, (and former civil servant at DEFRA)
- Professor Stephen Holdgate, lead author of the RCP/RCPCH report on air pollution (Every Breath we Take).
The Guardian, 14 June 2016:
Pressure has been growing as the delay has lengthened. Letter-writers to the Guardian have called for publication, and a petition by pressure group 38 Degrees has more than 124,000 signatures.
Robin Russell-Jones, a long-time environmental activist who submitted scientific research to the report showing that methane emissions from fracking were worse than those of coal and that methane was rising because of fracking, wrote to the Guardian: “It would be highly embarrassing for the government if its dash for gas was found to be incompatible with our climate change commitments, agreed by the UN. Embarrassing unless the government accepted the scientific case and announced it was going to abandon fracking and invest in renewables.”
Green campaigners told the Guardian that further delay was indefensible.
“When it comes to fracking this government is about as transparent as a brick wall with no windows,” said Daisy Sands, head of energy at Greenpeace UK. “The impact of fracking on climate change is a major concern for many people. The prime minister who once promised ‘a revolution in transparency’ should release this report and give people a chance to make up their own minds.”
Vanessa Vine, of Frack-Free Sussex, who helped to organise protests against oil exploration in Balcombe, said: “It speaks volumes that this report is being withheld.”
A spokesperson for Decc said: “The Infrastructure Act clearly requires Government to consider the CCC report properly before responding, and that is what is happening. As such, if we had laid the CCC’s report before parliament as soon as we received it we would not have met our legal requirements. We are carefully looking at this report to ensure it is given the proper consideration it is due. It will be published as soon as that process is complete.”
The Guardian, 7 June 2016:
Janet Russell asks the right question (Letters, May 30). What has happened to the report on shale gas by the UK Climate Change Committee (CCC)? When Professor Cowern and I gave evidence in February, we were assured that the report would be published no later than May. We have also been told unofficially that the CCC has accepted our data on fugitive emissions of methane and that shale gas is two times worse than coal from a climate change perspective. We also submitted a further paper towards the end of March, indicating that over half of the rise in atmospheric levels of methane seen globally since 2007 is due to oil and gas, notably shale extraction in the US, and that this is obscuring the rise in methane emissions from the Arctic. I suppose it would be highly embarrassing for the government if its “dash for gas” was found to be incompatible with our climate change commitments, agreed by the UN but implemented via EU legislation. Embarrassing unless the government accepted the scientific case and announced it was going to abandon fracking and invest in renewables.
Dr Robin Russell-Jones
Stoke Poges, Buckinghamshire