Fracking: A Citizens Deliberation

Fracking and its role in the UK is a hugely important issue for politicians grappling with the energy challenges we are faced with now and in the future.

However, the debate is dominated by industry representatives, politicians and campaigners, with citizens often left watching from the sidelines. Opinion is polarised on each side and the public watches through the lens of media reports, lobbying and public campaigns.

The Fracking Citizens Deliberation aimed to bring together a diverse ‘mini public’ to share their initial opinions, listen to each other and external ‘commentators or expert witnesses’, to ask questions and then deliberate their way towards a set of ‘refined’ conclusions. Surveys and opinion polls give us a clue what individuals think. However they don’t help us understand what citizens will conclude if they are given the time and space to be able to deliberate at length with each other and consider a range of differing perspectives; to share opinions, to challenge and disagree with each other, to appreciate other viewpoints and ultimately come to their own conclusions. The group considered the two below questions:

“What are the most important factors that need to be taken into account when deciding whether or not Fracking should proceed?”


“What recommendations would you give to Government on the future of Fracking in the UK, if you were given the opportunity to do so?”