A tanker containing gas from the Peruvian Amazon has arrived to the UK and is stirring controversy.
This is the first shipment to the UK from the Camisea project in rainforest 60 miles from Machu Picchu. This project has proven to be hugely controversial.
Supporters of fracking say the UK should frack its own gas, not import it from delicate regions like the Amazon, but opponents of say that fraking practice creates disturbance and pollution which fuels climate change.
Gallina, the tanker owned by Shell that’s transporting the gas is set to arrive at the Isle of Grain in Kent.
Survival International, a human rights organization, issued a report where it blamed developers for bringing diseases which killed people from previously uncontacted tribes.
However, these companies were praised later for reducing environmental damage and for boosting the economy of Peru. But the same report stated that indigenous people did not share the gains.
Shale gas supporter, Nick Grealy said: “Friends of the Earth and Greenpeace oppose fracking – but surely they would be appalled to be getting gas from the Amazon? I share their concern about climate change, but environmentalists are scoring own goals with this one.”
Friends of the Earth responded by saying: “We think we should leave our gas in the ground and Peru should leave its gas in the ground.”
Fracking, better or worse for the environment?
Comparison between the carbon emissions from fracked gas and the emissions from compressing conventional gas to ship it from countries like Peru is a major environmental factor in the fracking debate.
The “Committee on Climate Change”, which is the government’s official adviser, says that current evidence suggests that “well-regulated domestic production could have an emissions footprint slightly smaller than that of imported liquefied natural gas”.
Gas without carbon capture and storage will be eliminated from UK electricity production in the early 2030s, but it will still be used for heating up towards 2050, according to the committee. It also estimates that burning gas is almost half as bad for the climate as coal.
Methane, which is a strong greenhouse gas that leaks from fracking sites is still an unknown factor.
Fracking is opposed by many environmentalists in the UK. The process involves pumping large volumes of water pressure into a shale rock formation together with sand grains and chemicals, they keep the tiny fractures open in the rock to allow the gas to flow.
A shale gas well in Yorkshire has been approved, and construction has started at one site in Lancashire where drilling is expected to start by the end of the year.