Updated: 03/10/17 : 16:03:47
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World :: Scots ban fracking following public opposition

The Scottish Government has anannounced an immediate ban on fracking, following overwhelming public opposition to the controversial process.

Scottish Energy Minister Paul Wheelhouse said the gas extraction technique will be outlawed after over two years of consultation and research into potential impacts.

The news was welcomed by environmental campaigners who called the decision "a victory for the environment".

Friends of the Earth Scotland said the ban would "be warmly welcomed across the country and around the world", praising the Government's decision to "avoid potentially devastating impacts to people's health, the climate and our natural environment".

WWF Scotland said: "The climate science is clear. The vast majority of fossil fuel reserves need to be left in the ground. It's fantastic Scottish Ministers agree that we need to start placing them off limits."

A request for public feedback attracted more than 60,000 responses - 99% of which were opposed to fracking.

"Fracking cannot, and will not take place in Scotland", said Mr Wheelhouse.

Adding: "I can confirm the conclusion of the Scottish Government is that we will not support the development of unconventional oil and gas in Scotland."

An immediate ban is now in force, and a debate and vote will take place in Scottish Parliament later this month.