An SNP MP has called on the UK Government to "finally follow Scotland's lead and rule out fracking".

Patrick Grady, MP for Glasgow North, said "if we're going to be serious about the climate emergency then there should not be fracking anywhere in the UK".

Currently, the Scottish Government has an "effective ban" on fracking which it enforces via planning powers. 

Work is currently under way at Holyrood to create a finalised fracking ban policy this spring as the current system cannot continue "indefinitely", according to Energy Minister Paul Wheelhouse.

READ MORE: Fracking can and should be banned in Scotland, leading QC says

At Westminster, Minister for Science and Research Chris Skidmore replied to Grady, explaining that in the last quarter of 2018 just 2.5% of electricity was generated by coal in comparison to 40% back in 2010.

He added that "we're going in the right direction but we can't forget the fact that we will be using gas in Scotland".

During Commons Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) questions, Grady said: "There is no fracking in Scotland, there has been no fracking in Scotland and under the SNP there will be no fracking in Scotland, and if we're going to be serious about the climate emergency then there should not be fracking anywhere in the UK.

"So, will the UK finally follow Scotland's lead and rule out fracking on these islands?"

Skidmore replied that "we obviously want to ensure that we can increase our opportunities for generating electricity through renewables", adding that 85% of UK households were using gas for heating.

The National: People have protested fracking across the countryPeople have protested fracking across the country

He continued: "We had 47% of gas being imported in 2017, if we don't take action this could rise to 72%."

Labour's Geraint Davies said Nasa and satellite data showed that 5% of the methane from fracking was leaked through fugitive emissions.

He said: "The methane is 85 times worse than C02 for global warming, making fracking worse than coal for climate change, so will he meet with me to discuss my fracking bill?

Skidmore said a 2013 report concluded that the carbon footprint of UK shale gas would be much less than coal and comparable to imported liquified natural gas.

Measures, he said, were in place to minimise methane emissions, adding that the Environment Agency "issues and robustly enforces legally binding environmental permits regulating methane emissions".

The National: Chris SkidmoreChris Skidmore

Labour chair of the BEIS committee Rachel Reeves called on the Government to end its "ideological opposition" to onshore wind.

She said: "The climate change committee say that we need to double our production of onshore wind in the next decade. Instead, it's likely to halve because of this Government's ideological opposition to it.

"We're not on target to meet our fourth and fifth carbon budgets, let alone achieve net zero, so will the Government end its ideological opposition to onshore wind so that we can hand on to future generations a better planet?

Skidmore said communities should be able to "reflect on the benefits" of renewable energy in their communities, rather than call them ideological opponents to renewables, adding: "I don't think that's very fair on those communities."

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