Shale gas: unconventional and unwanted

20 September 2012

Europe risks side-lining its vision for a more sustainable, low-carbon energy future, according to this report, unless it permanently closes its doors to unconventional and unwanted fossil fuels like shale gas.

Shale gas and the technology used to extract it – hydraulic fracturing, or 'fracking' – has become a great controversy in the last couple of years. Serious environmental and human health concerns continue to dog shale gas drilling. Chief among these are threats to groundwater quality, concerns about how much water is needed, worries over fracking's impacts on air quality and its stimulation of earthquakes and its potential impact on climate change, which could be comparable to coal. This report gives an overview of the problems of shale gas, and a state of play of shale gas development globally and in Europe.