The Scottish government will not support the development of fracking after a public consultation found overwhelming opposition to the practice, the energy minister said on Oct. 3 in a victory for environmentalists.

Scotland imposed a moratorium on fracking in 2015 and that will now remain for the foreseeable future.

"The decision taken today means fracking cannot and will not take place in Scotland," Paul Wheelhouse told the Scottish parliament in Edinburgh.

"Taking account of available evidence and the strength of public opinion, my judgment is that Scotland should say 'no' to fracking," he said.

Environmental groups Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth both welcomed the news from Edinburgh and said the executive there, run by the Scottish National Party (SNP), was leading the way toward clean energy.

Britain's central government, led by Conservative Prime Minister Theresa May, supports fracking. The opposition Labour Party has said it would ban the technique if elected.

"The SNP government is leading the way towards the clean energy system that people want. The Conservative government in Westminster is now alone in backing fracking and looks very isolated indeed," said Elisabeth Whitebread, energy campaigner at Greenpeace UK.