Young people are much more in favour of renewables than fracking for shale, a poll suggests.
The survey revealed that 18-24-year-olds who were aware of fracking wanted the Government to develop other sources of energy in the UK, with 44% backing solar as one of the technologies they most favoured, 41% for wind and 38% for tidal power.
Shale gas from fracking was a top energy source for just 10% of those questioned, above conventional gas on 2%, the poll by YouGov found.
Asked which type of energy they were least in favour of the Government pursuing in the UK, the young people put shale gas top of the list, with 45% labelling it one of the most undesirable sources, followed by nuclear at 37% and conventional gas.
The poll of more than 1,000 respondents found that four-fifths (809) understood or were aware of fracking. Of these, 44% thought fracking in the UK would definitely or probably reduce gas prices for consumers, compared to 40% who did not.
Three out of five (60%) also thought it would reduce reliance on foreign gas imports while 24% did not, but almost half (49%) were concerned it would or might cause health problems, such as water pollution.
More than seven in 10 of those questioned (71%) thought fracking would cause environmental problems such as danger to wildlife, compared to just 16% who did not, and almost three-quarters (74%) thought it would bring down local house prices.
And in the run-up to the general election, the survey revealed that a third (34%) of young people were more likely to vote for a party that pledged to review the legality of fracking in the UK, although 44% said it would make no or little difference.
The poll was conducted for Talk Fracking, an initiative spearheaded by fashion designer and activist Vivienne Westwood’s son Joe Corre to demand more debate on the “potential dangers” of fracking before it goes ahead in the UK.
Mr Corre said: “Our youth have made their voices heard loud and clear with their answers to this survey.
“They have told us they have genuine concerns about fracking that must be addressed. They are the ones who will inherit the Earth and will have to deal with the frontline effects that fracking could cause.
“The issue of fracking and its impact in the UK must be an election issue. We need to be informed of how each party will both answer the public’s concerns and review the legality of fracking before it changes the UK landscape forever – something our youth have now called for.”