First, I would like to make clear that our new Prime Minister supports the core ambitions of the 2019 manifesto on which this Government was elected. The Government will therefore revert to a precautionary approach regarding shale gas exploration in England.
In the November 2019 manifesto, the Government confirmed a moratorium on shale gas exploration in England with immediate effect. Having listened to local communities and assessed the state of the science, Ministers ruled out changes to the planning system. As set out in the manifesto, the Government will not support shale gas extraction unless the science shows categorically that it can be done safely.
In line with the British Geological Survey report on the scientific advances in hydraulic fracturing since 2019, forecasting the occurrence of large earthquakes and their expected magnitude owing to shale gas extraction remains a challenge with significant uncertainty.
Fracking will only be supported if it can be carried out in a way that is sustainable and protects local communities. This will be led by the evidence on whether this form of exploration can be done in a way which acceptably manages the risk to local communities.
Further, Ministers are taking a presumption against issuing any further hydraulic fracturing consents. This position will be maintained until compelling new evidence is provided which addresses the concerns around the prediction and management of induced seismicity.