Newsletter – August 2019

Act now to stop fracking

We challenge you to take one action against fracking each month.

We all have the power to make a difference and help stop fracking. We’d love it if you would come along to one of our meetings and get involved but we know not everyone can. The good news is, there are many things you can do at home.

We’re going to highlight one action you can take each month and would love to hear from you on social media when you’ve done it. Just post using the hashtag #ActNowStopFracking 

Act now: Ask your employer to divest its pensions from fossil fuels

MPs are doing it, councillors are doing it, university students are doing it. Let’s work to get all pension funds out of the fossil fuel industry.

Ask your employer to divest its pensions from fossil fuelsAsk your employer to divest its pensions from fossil fuels

Between 2014 and 2018, the government rolled out pension auto-enrolment for eligible workers. That means more people than ever before now have a pension.

If you are able to choose which funds your pension contributions go into, look for funds that don’t include companies from the coal, oil and gas industry.

Whether or not you’re able to divest your own pension funds from fossil fuels, please ask your employer to ensure all their employees’ funds are automatically fossil free.

Here’s a briefing to read before you raise the issue with your employer. This briefing was published in January 2018 specifically for lobbying local authorities; however, it contains a lot of useful information, most of which is still relevant to any sector. You could even share this with your employer.

It might help to talk to your colleagues and see if you can get a few together to approach your employer as a group.

Let us know on social media when you’ve done it using the hashtag #ActNowStopFracking


Latest news

Fracking resumes at Preston New Road

Cuadrilla has confirmed in a press release on Thursday 15th August that it has resumed hydraulic fracturing at its Preston New Road shale gas site near Blackpool.

The press release said the company would fracture up to 45 stages of the second horizontal well at the site, known as PNR2. Fracking the first horizontal well at Preston New Road, known as PNR1z, induced more than 50 small earth tremors, two of which were felt locally. DrillOrDrop tremor tracker

Laura Hughes, Projects and Operations Director at Cuadrilla said, “…We also know there is a reservoir of recoverable high quality natural gas beneath our feet that the UK needs if we are to reach Net Zero by 2050.”

Fracking is known to release methane into the atmosphere, which is 84 times more potent a greenhouse gas as carbon dioxideWhat we ACTUALLY need to do in order to meet our Net Zero target is LEAVE IT IN THE GROUND. 


Fracking causing rise in methane emissions, study finds

The boom in the US shale gas and oil may have ignited a significant global spike in methane emissions blamed for accelerating the pace of the climate crisis, according to research.

Scientists at Cornell University have found the “chemical fingerprints” of the rising global methane levels point to shale oil and shale gas as the probable source.

Methane, levels of which have been increasing sharply since 2008, is a potent greenhouse gas that heats the atmosphere quicker than carbon dioxide.

Robert Howarth, the author of the paper published in the journal Biogeosciences, said the proportion of methane with a “carbon signature” linked to traditional fossil fuels was falling relative to the rise of methane with a slightly different carbon make-up.

Researchers had previously assumed the “non-traditional” methane was from biological sources such as cows and wetlands, but the latest research suggests unconventional oil and gas from fracking may be playing a significant part.

“This recent increase in methane is massive,” Howarth said. “It’s globally significant. It’s contributed to some of the increase in global warming we’ve seen and shale gas is a major player.”

Howarth said his report showed that if humans stopped emitting large quantities of methane into the atmosphere, it would dissipate. “It goes away pretty quickly, compared to carbon dioxide. It’s the low-hanging fruit to slow global warming,” he said.


Ineos ditches PwC as auditor after row over tax deal

The petro-chemicals company, owned by Sir Jim Ratcliffe, has begun sounding out rivals to PwC to gauge their interest in taking on the company’s audit mandate.

Earlier this year, The Sunday Times reported that PwC had considered quitting as Ineos’s auditor after being asked to work on what it described as “an ambitious tax-avoidance plan being put together by its three most senior executives”.

Soon afterwards, Ineos, which is now the world’s largest standalone chemicals group, paid a dividend worth about £1.2bn to shareholders – one of the largest such payouts ever made by a private British company.

Ratcliffe, an avowed supporter of Brexit, had already decided to quit the UK for Monaco, an arrangement presumably motivated at least partly by tax considerations, according to reports last year.

Ineos plan to use the ethane acquired through fracking as feed-stock for their plastic production, not to supply the country with gas. Alongside their tax avoidance, this begs the question: How are Ineos’ fracking operations going to benefit the people of Britain?



Upcoming events

Sheffield Against Fracking monthly meeting

Tuesday 10th September 2019
Central United Reformed Church, 60 Norfolk Street, Sheffield

All are welcome to attend. Please let us know if you can make it at the Facebook event or by email.

Sheffield – Global Climate Strike

Friday 20 September 2019
Assembling at Devonshire Green at 11am, Sheffield

“On 20th September the UK Student Climate Network is calling on everyone – adults, workers, community groups, trade unionists, nurses, teachers, steel workers, car manufacturers, waiters and everyone else in between to join us in a global general climate strike. We will be joining people all around the world in what’s set to be a massive day of climate action.

Join us in Sheffield and let’s make this the largest climate mobilisation the city has ever seen.” 

Full details on Facebook

Global Frackdown Day

October – Sheffield (date and location to be confirmed)

Take part – If you’d like to contribute to this day of action in October, we’re about to start planning for this at the SAF monthly meetings. If you can’t attend the meetings but have an idea or would like to be involved in events organising, please email us.

Get involved

WE NEED YOU to help with the fight against fracking. Come and join us at one of our events. We’d love to meet you.

Learn from the SAF team and help spread the word. Have fun, eat cake, blow bubbles, play with dinosaurs and more.

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