An influential committee of MPs has called for a moratorium on fracking on the grounds that it could derail efforts to tackle climate change.
The government’s drive for shale gas should be put on hold because it would lead to more reliance on fossil fuels, the Environmental Audit Committee said.
The cross-party committee also warned there were “huge uncertainties” about the environmental impact of fracking.
Ministers said shale gas development did not detract from cutting emissions.
In their report, the MPs said shale fracking was incompatible with UK carbon targets and could pose environmental and health risks.
“Ultimately fracking cannot be compatible with our long-term commitments to cut climate-changing emissions unless full-scale carbon capture and storage technology is rolled out rapidly, which currently looks unlikely,” said committee chair Joan Walley MP.
“There are also huge uncertainties around the impact that fracking could have on water supplies, air quality and public health.”