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Policy briefing notes and statements

Decarbonising heat with geothermal energy

Utilising widely available low-temperature heat from the ground instead of carbon-intensive gas and oil heaters could significantly lower the carbon footprint of the heating sector. Our latest policy and technology explainer explores the value of using geothermal heat to decarbonise our heat demand.

cross section through the earth showing hydrogen stored underground alongside carbon capture and storage

Geoscience and the hydrogen economy

Hydrogen offers an attractive alternative fuel to hydrocarbons, with the potential to reduce carbon emissions from heavy industry, domestic heating, and transportation. This policy and technology explainer explores the role of geoscience in achieving a low-carbon hydrogen economy. 

map of Antarctica with black background

Statement on climate change 2020

See our latest statement on climate change including an up to date assessment and detail on what the resulting records of past climate can tell us about future climate change, with a particular focus on ancient CO2-driven warming.

illustration of a geological disposal facility for radioactive waste

Briefing note on the geological disposal of radioactive waste

The implementation of geological disposal of radioactive waste has been the UK Government’s adopted policy since 2008. This briefing note outlines the ways in which geological expertise and geologists are essential for the disposal of radioactive waste.

Briefing note on responsible investing in natural resources

What constitutes responsible investment in the extractive sector? This briefing note explores how it might be verified and quantified, identifies drivers and barriers to achieving it, and proposes actions to support and stimulate its implementation.

Pie charts showing energy demand and supply

Briefing note on the role of geoscience in decarbonisation

This briefing note outlines the main scientific, regulatory and communication challenges facing the decarbonisation of electricity generation, heat, transport and other industries.


Briefing note on geology and the UN Sustainable Development Goals

This briefing note covers the ways in which geological science is critical the delivery of many of the UN Sustainable Development Goals. The note was produced jointly between the Geological Society, the British Geological Survey and Geology for Global Development.


Briefing note on the value and changes to A level Geology

The Geological Society's briefing note on the value of teaching A level Geology in secondary schools and 6th form colleges, and an explanation of the changes made since the subject's reform in 2016.

airplaneStatement on the US Executive Order

The Geological Society's statement on the US Executive Order and its impact on the geoscience and international communities.

snail_60x60.jpgStatement on the Value of Museums and Collections

This statement highlights the benefits and contributions that museums and collections, particularly local and regional institutions, make to Society through their use in research, education, preservation of UK heritage and public outreach.

Learned Societies' Climate Communiqué

In the run up to the United Nations Climate Change Conference COP 21, held from 30 November to 12 December 2015, 24 of the UK's foremost academic institutions, including the Geological Society published a joint Climate Communiqué calling on national governments to take immediate action if they want to avert the serious risks posed by climate change.

""American Geosciences Institute Guidelines for Ethical Professional Conduct

These guidelines address common ethical topics across the geoscience community. Council agreed that the Society should be a signatory to this statement on 17 June 2015.

Geological DisposalImplementing Geological Disposal: A Framework for the long-term management of higher activity radioactive waste

The UK government has published a White Paper following a review of the siting process for a geological disposal facility for radioactive waste. The Geological Society has issued a short statement on the White Paper.

Shale gas

Geological Society statement following Government announcements on shale gas (2012)

The Geological Society have prepared a statement following the Government announcements on shale gas.

SeismographEarthquakes: prediction, forecasting and mitigation

Can we predict earthquakes? The Geological Society have prepared a briefing note on the prediction, forecasting and mitigation of earthquakes.

Proposal to construct a waste pipeline near Siccar Point

The Geological Society have prepared a statement on the proposed construction of a waste pipeline near to Siccar Point, Berwickshire.


Shale Gas

The Geological Society have prepared a briefing note following the Shale Gas meeting on 18 June 2012. It provides detail on the geoscience relating to shale gas and its extraction. Recordings of the talks and other materials relating to the meeting are available at

monazite-60x60.jpgRare earth elements briefing

The Society have prepared a briefing note which explores the properties, occurrence, extraction, supply and uses of REE. Our focus is on their geological aspects, and the relationship between these and other scientific, economic and political considerations.

earth_60x60.jpgClimate change statement

The Society have released a statement on climate change, intended both for Fellows and non-specialists, based on geological evidence of how the climate has changed in the past, to inform our understanding of how it may change in future.

Relocation of BGS Core Store

A number of Fellows expressed concern about the decision of the British Geological Survey to relocate core and cuttings to Keyworth, Nottinghamshire. The minutes of the Council discussion and the summary of the Petroleum Group Committee advice are available to download here.

Young Earth Creationism Creation Science and Intelligent Design

In 2008, the Society prepared a statement outlining its position in regards to the above belief systems. This Society upholds the right of freedom of belief for all. The freedom scientists enjoy to investigate the nature and history of the Earth is the same freedom that allows individuals to believe - or not - in a deity.

Managing Radioactive Waste Safely

Since 2006, the Geological Society has undertaken various activities to help inform the Managing Radioactive Waste Safely (MRWS) programme, as part of our work in providing advice on matters of 'science for policy'.

GeolsocHow the Geological Society agrees its public statements

Procedures for generating and signing off consultation responses and other public statements.