In last week’s Hereford Times, there were two pieces about fracking - Greens in appeal to lobby government over fracking; Opinion: Fracking issue calls for deeper thinking, March 3.

On January 30, The Telegraph included an article referring to a leaked letter from Amber Rudd, Greg Clark and Liz Truss to George Osborne dated July 7, 2015, including plans to promote and develop the shale gas sector in the UK.

The leaked letter proposes the final say on planning permission for fracking should be taken from local people and given to the Secretary of State, and represents a weakening of democracy.

The fossil fuel industry has always received extensive subsidies, tax breaks and other government assistance. Shale gas exploration is receiving much government assistance including the planning change proposals identified above. The very new renewable energy sector has had government subsidy suddenly removed with a devastating effect on jobs.

However, the proposals in this leaked letter would have even more serious implications for climate change.

In December the world made an historic step forward in its collective determination to address climate change in the form of the Paris Climate Change Agreement.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has made it very clear in order to have a reasonable chance of keeping the average global temperature increase to below 2 degrees C above pre-industrial levels, most of the already known fossil fuel reserves cannot be burnt. 195 governments, including the UK Government, agreed in Paris to aim to keep global temperature increases to as near to 1.5 degrees C above pre-industrial levels as possible. It would be counter to the Paris Agreement and dangerous for our atmosphere to be developing a new fossil fuel industry at this point.

Cathy Monkley

Much Marcle