Falkirk West MSP Michael Matheson has welcomed news that the Court of Session has rejected a petition by Ineos Upstream and Reach Coal Seam that sought to challenge the Scottish Government’s actions in relation to unconventional oil and gas.

Mr Matheson said: “Today’s ruling will be a huge relief to people across Falkirk district who are opposed to fracking and coalbed methane extraction. It also vindicates the Scottish Government’s cautious, evidence-led approach to this controversial issue, which has resulted in us – and the overwhelming majority of the Scottish Parliament – taking a clear position against unconventional oil and gas extraction.

“While a strategic environmental assessment is being undertaken ahead of that position being finalised, our communities can rest assured that a moratorium remains in place which means no local authority can grant planning permission that could lead to fracking in Scotland.

“This court action shows why it’s vital that the Scottish Government builds its case against fracking on extensive research, scientific evidence and consultations so we can put in place robust policies that will be able to withstand any further legal challenges.”