The Scottish Government has announced plans to ban fracking from their lands, valleys and lakes after seeing "overwhelming" opposition from the public. Energy Minister Paul Wheelhouse said an immediate ban on the controversial gas-extraction technique would be put in place by expanding current restrictions, ensuring it remains "indefinitely."
Unveiling the news within Parliament, Wheelhouse said: "Let me be clear that the action is sufficient to effectively ban the development of unconventional oil and gas extraction in Scotland."
"The decision means that fracking cannot, and will not take place in Scotland."
He said the commitment came after a public inquiry on the issue received over 60,000 responses – an "overwhelming" 99% of which were opposed to fracking.
Environmental charities have since hailed the ban as a major success for the planet, and our health. "This is a huge win for the anti-fracking movement," Friends of the Earth Scotland campaign manager Mary Church said.
"Particularly for those on the frontline of this dirty industry here in Scotland – who have been working for a ban these last six years."
She claims the ban would "avoid potentially devastating impacts to people's health, the climate and our natural environment."
Dr. Sam Gardner, WWF Scotland director, said it was "excellent" that the Scottish Government had "listened to the thousands of people, campaigners, and politicians" calling for a permanent ban:
"The climate science is clear. The vast majority of fossil fuel reserves need to be left in the ground."
Hydraulic fracturing is a process which involves injection water at high-pressure into shale formations, cracking the rocks below and allowing natural gas to flow out. Supporters of fracking claim the ban will have a negative impact on the Scottish economy, as it could bring up to £4.6 million ($6.1 million) in additional revenue and thousands of jobs.
The world, however, is currently witnessing the "birth of a new era" in renewables, according to the International Energy Agency. Their latest report shows that solar and wind accounted for two-thirds of new power supplies in 2016 and by 2022 the electricity generated will be enough to power China, India and Germany combined.