Fracking: For whom, at what cost? Public lecture by John Ashton

7.30pm, Thursday 8 October 2015.

David Hume Tower (Lecture Theatre A), George Square, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh EH8 9LX.

To attend please reserve your free space here.

Former UK climate envoy John Ashton discusses fracking – how it pits communities against aggressive corporations, the new activism this has created and what this all means for climate change and democratic engagement.

The prospect of fracking for shale gas (and other unconventional forms of extraction) at an industrial scale looms over much of the UK. It is pitting communities against aggressive corporate and financial interests that have bet on its success, as well as their political backers. It threatens to deepen already serious national divisions and is putting local authorities in an impossible position. Our democratic systems are cracking under the strain.

In response a new movement is coming together, in a new kind of activism. Led by local communities, it is rallying people from many walks of life to take a stand against fracking and build a path to our low carbon future. It is forging new citizen networks across the UK, and linking hands with similar networks around the world.

Independent speaker and former UK climate envoy John Ashton is part of this new activism and has recently been involved in the struggle to keep fracking out of Lancashire.

Drawing on his experiences in politics and diplomacy he will explain why he sees the resistance to fracking as critical, both for the response to climate change and for political renewal in the UK, as a basis for discussion about Scotland’s voice in the world.

John Ashton CBE trained and worked briefly as a physicist, then spent 30 years as a British diplomat. From 2006-12 he was the Special Representative for Climate Change for three successive UK foreign secretaries. He cofounded think tank E3G and is a member of the advisory board of Post Crash Economics.

Our chair will be Sally Foster-Fulton, Convener of the Church and Society Council of The Church of Scotland and Ambassador for the ACT Climate Alliance.


For more information about our work on unconventional gas please see our fracking campaign web-page.

The talk is hosted by Friends of the Earth Scotland and the Ancestral Time project at the University of Edinburgh School of Divinity.