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Christian charity accuses Government of "extraordinary hypocrisy" after issuing 93 fracking licences

by Aaron James

A Rocha UK's speaking after the Oil and Gas Authority, part of the British government, awarded the 93 licences to energy companies to begin fracking in 159 different parts of land in the UK.

The charity has also called the licenses "a disaster for the environment".

Britain was one of more than 190 countries that formally agreed at the Paris COP21 summit to lower carbon emissions and keep global emissions no more than 2 degrees celsius above pre-industrial levels.

The licences came after MPs voted yesterday to allow fracking under national parks - something it promised not to do in January in the Conservative/Liberal Democrat coalition.

Fracking is the process of drilling underground and extracting the desired resource through a pipe.

The licences allow the companies to explore for shale oil and gas, but they'll need permission from local authorities before they can start drilling for it.

However energy companies can appeal a local authority's rejection to central government, where it is much more likely it will be approved given the government's pro-fracking stance.

Supporters say fracking could bring up to billions of pounds into the economy, reduce carbon emissions by reducing reliance on coal, and create jobs.

Critics say fracking will continue to produce energies which reduce emissions that damage the environment, can poison water supplies, cause earthquakes and ruin scenery.

Andy Lester, from A Rocha, told Premier's News Hour: "We're very upset about it as a charity. Fracking is bad news. It's highly embarrassing you'd think for the government right on the back of the Paris COP21 summit.

"They had a strong agreement on climate change and one of the first actions they've taken is to grant licences for fracking.

"So that is a disaster for the environment, it's a disaster for climate change policy, and to be honest it's showing an extraordinary level of hypocrisy."

A Department of Energy and Climate Change spokesman said: "The UK has one of the best track records in the world for protecting our environment while developing our industries - these regulations will get this vital industry moving while protecting our environment and people."

Listen to Premier's Hannah Tooley speaking to Andy Lester on the News Hour:

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