The Committee on Climate Change warned that relying on gas would scupper the UK’s chances of meeting emissions targets, the Guardian reported.
Shale gas extracted in the UK would be lower carbon than imported gas from countries such as Qatar, and help to reduce greenhouse gas emissions if well regulated, the government’s chief climate change advisers have said.
But in a report published on Wednesday, the Committee on Climate Change also sounded caution on the prospects for widespread development of shale in the UK. It said that relying heavily on gas would scupper the UK’s chances of meeting emissions targets in the longer term, and prevent needed investments in low-carbon technologies.
Green campaigners also focused on research from the CCC that found the UK’s carbon footprint was increasing, instead of shrinking, if imports were taken into account. The UK is a major importer of manufactured goods, especially from China, and the CCC examined the impact on the climate of emissions from the production of these goods. It found that the best way to ensure emissions fall globally, instead of just in the UK, was to put in place an international agreement on emissions, such as the United Nations is hoping to forge in 2015.