Brussels – Food & Water Europe is thrilled that the European Parliament’s Industry, Research & Energy Committee just about endorsed an immediate moratorium on fracking in the EU in a close vote – 30 in favour and 30 against – on one of the amendments to the report of MEP Saudargas about an ‘European Energy Security Strategy’. Coming just one vote short shows that the public acceptance of shale gas among Members of the European Parliament is crumbling, as the evidence about the negative environmental impacts of fracking is mounting. With an online letter writing campaign, Food & Water Europe enabled European citizens to call on their newly elected Members of the European Parliament to take a strong stance against fracking. These efforts clearly paid off, as half of the Industry Committee members voted in favour of amendment 366, which reads as follows:
16 a. On the basis of the precautionary principle and on the principle that preventive action should be taken, taking into account the risks and the negative climate, environmental and health impacts involved in hydraulic fracturing for the exploitation of unconventional fracking and the gaps identified in the EU regulatory regime for shale gas activities, urges Member States not to authorise any new unconventional hydraulic fracturing operations in the EU
“Today’s vote in the Industry Committee shows that there is a growing concern among Members of the European Parliament about the negative impacts of fracking,” said Food & Water Europe Director of EU Affairs Geert Decock. “This close vote – just one vote short of a majority – should send a message to the European Commission that shale gas has no place in the EU energy mix. Now is the time to further reduce our gas consumption by investing in renewables and energy efficiency.”
The final version of the Saudargas report offers strong support for “developing smart grids”, “continued support for the construction of nearly zero-energy buildings” and draws attention to the need for “moderation of energy demand, in particular energy demand used for heating”. All these measures – if given strong support – will dramatically decrease the EU’s gas consumption, reduce the EU’s reliance on foreign gas suppliers and make the supposed ‘need’ for shale gas in the EU obsolete.
Contact: Geert De Cock tel. +32 (0)2 893 10 45, mobile +32 (0)484 629.491, gdecock(at)fweurope.org