Green Alliance Annual debate 2013: Can fracking be sustainable?

Around 200 people came to this debate on 11 November, 2013 at the Royal College of Physicians, London to discuss the compatibility of shale gas exploitation with the decarbonisation of the power sector, areas of uncertainty and other issues of contention.


  1. The panel featured Green Party MP Caroline Lucas; Michael Liebreich, CEO of Bloomberg New Energy Finance; David Kennedy, chief executive of the Committee on Climate Change; and Lord Chris Smith, chair of the Environment Agency. The debate was chaired by The Guardian commentator Zoe Williams who has written on the subject of fracking vs renewables.
  2. Watch our short video of the highlights:
  3. Green Alliance annual debate 2013: Can fracking be sustainable?
  4. Zoe Williams introduced the panel and invited their views on the question for debate...
  5. Caroline Lucas began by saying that from an economic perspective fracking will not be cheap, which was a view supported by Sir Nicholas Stern, industry and others:
  6. She said that carbon is the reason shale gas isn't sustainable and that it is "quantitatively and unequivocally incompatible" with carbon targets.
  7. Michael Liebreich said he would play the "pantomime baddy" and argue in favour of shale gas:
  8. David Kennedy opened by saying it is all about carbon: