November 10th, 2015

Food & Water Europe Calls on MEPs to Reject Fracking for Shale Gas in Industry Committee Vote on Energy Union

More than 1200 Organizations Around the World Join Call for a Global Ban on Fracking

Brussels – Today, Food & Water Europe is urging Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) – the Industry, Energy and Research committee in particular – to reiterate their opposition to shale gas and other unconventional oil and gas resources due to the negative climate and environmental impacts associated with fracking, when voting on the own-initiative report of MEP Gróbarczyk1. Food & Water Europe hopes that MEPs will recognize the limited potential of shale gas in reducing the EU’s reliance on fossil gas imports. On the eve of the Paris climate summit, the EU needs to show higher ambition for renewables and energy efficiency in order to curb its reliance on coal, oil and fossil gas. This is why Food & Water Europe delivered its ‘2015 Global Frackdown to Paris’ letter2 – calling for a ban on fracking, which was signed by over 1200 groups in 64 countries – to the offices of MEPs. The great success of this letter again demonstrates that the social licence to operate for the fracking industry remains absent. Fighting climate change, while simultaneously allowing exploration for new, unburnable high-carbon resources like shale gas, is inherently contradictory.

“In the year of the critical Paris climate summit and with the impact of climate change becoming more severe by the year, the European Union must send a strong signal to the world that it is committed to keeping fossil fuels in the ground, starting with its own unconventional oil and gas resources”, said Food & Water Europe Director Geert Decock.

More than 1200 groups signed on to the ‘2015 Global Frackdown to Paris’ letter. This letter outlines the main reasons why fracking for unconventional oil and gas cannot be part of any ambitious plans to tackle climate change. First of all, combusting fossil gas instead of e.g. coal releases half the CO2 emissions, but a longer-term reliance on gas will only serve as a bridge fuel to climate chaos. Secondly, more and more peer-reviewed scientific evidence calls into question the low-carbon status of fossil gas due to high levels of ‘fugitive methane’ emissions from its up-, mid- and downstream infrastructure. Last but not least, unconventional oil and gas resources are ‘unburnable carbon’, meaning that their exploitation breaks the world’s remaining and rapidly shrinking carbon budget to stay within the 2 degrees climate target. Instead, the world needs a rapid decarbonisation of its economies, based on ambitious no-regrets policies such as the promotion of energy efficiency and renewables.

Contact: Geert Decock tel. +32 (0)2 893 10 45, mobile +32 (0)484 629.491, gdecock(at)

Food & Water Europe is the European programme of Food & Water Watch, a nonprofit organisation based in the United States. Food & Water Europe champions healthy food and clean water for all. We stand up to corporations that put profits before people and advocate for a democracy that improves people's lives and protects our environment.