Shale Gas Shock Challenges Climate and Energy Policies 

London, 4 May - The Global Warming Policy Foundation today publishes a detailed report about the shale gas revolution and its likely implications for UK and international climate policy.

The report The Shale Gas Shock, written by Matt Ridley and with a foreword by Professor Freeman Dyson, finds that shale gas:

  • is not only abundant but relatively cheap and therefore promises to take market share from nuclear, coal and renewable energy and to replace oil in some transport and industrial uses, over coming decades.
  • will help to keep the price of nitrogen fertiliser low and hence keep food prices down, other things being equal.
  • is unlikely to be a major source of pollution or methane emissions, but in contrast promises to reduce pollution and accelerate the decarbonisation of the world economy.

Matt Ridley, the author of the GWPF report, said:

"Abundant and relatively cheap shale gas promises to lower the cost of gas relative to oil, coal and renewables. It indefinitely postpones the exhaustion of fossil fuels and makes reducing emissions of carbon dioxide possible without raising energy prices."

Freeman Dyson, in his foreword to the GWPF report, said:

"Shale gas is not a perfect solution to our economic and environmental problems, but it is here when it is needed, and it makes an enormous difference to the human condition.”

“Matt Ridley gives us a fair and even-handed account of the environmental costs and benefits of shale gas. The lessons to be learned are clear. The environmental costs of shale gas are much smaller than the environmental costs of coal.”

pdf The full report can be downloaded here (1.58 Mb 04/05/2011)

Hard copies of the report can be ordered for £10.00 from the Global Warming Policy Foundation, 1 Carlton House Terrace, London SW1Y 5DB, UK


About the Author

Matt Ridley is one of the world‘s foremost science writers. His books have sold over 800,000 copies and been translated into 27 languages. His new book ‘The Rational Optimist‘ was published in 2010. He is a member of the GWPF‘s Academic Advisory Council.

Freeman Dyson

Freeman Dyson FRS, a world-renowned theoretical physicist, is Professor Emeritus of Mathematical Physics and Astrophysics at the Institute of Advanced Study in Princeton where he held a chair for many years. Dyson is the author of numerous widely read science books. He is a member of the GWPF‘s Academic Advisory Council.

GWPF Reports

Views expressed in the publications of the Global Warming Policy Foundation are those of the authors, not those of the GWPF, its Trustees, its Academic Advisory Council members or its Directors.

For more information, please contact

Philipp Mueller
The Global Warming Policy Foundation
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