Charity intervenes in fracking legal challenge

29 April 2018, 12:51 | Updated: 29 April 2018, 12:54

fracking barrel

An environmental charity has intervened in the legal challenge to the Scottish Government's fracking ban.

Petrochemical giant Ineos, alongside Aberdeen firm ReachCSG, is taking Scottish ministers to court over their decision to convert a moratorium on the controversial gas extraction technique into an indefinite ban.

Friends of the Earth Scotland (FoE Scotland) has submitted a public interest intervention in the case, due to be heard in May at the Court of Session.

Announcing plans to seek a judicial review in January, Ineos said there were "very serious errors" in the decision-making process.

The firm, which owns two fracking licences in Scotland, is challenging the legality of the ban and seeking compensation.

However, FoE Scotland will argue the ban is lawful, and arguably required in order to meet Scotland's legally binding climate change commitments.

The organisation's lawyers say it is the first public interest intervention granted in the Court of Session on environmental grounds.

The charity's head of campaigns Mary Church said: "We are getting involved in Ineos's judicial review of the fracking ban in order to put forward crucial climate change arguments in support of the ban that otherwise would not have been heard.

"Our intervention argues that the Scottish Government is required to ban fracking so as to urgently cut greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuels, in line with legally binding climate targets.

"We are confident that the process to ban fracking was robust and fair, and we hope that the courts will find against Ineos."