Shale gas risks side-lined by industry interests

18 September 2012

European politicians today acknowledged some of the unambiguous risks of shale gas extraction in Europe, according to Friends of the Earth Europe. However, despite mounting evidence of the negative local, regional and global impacts of fracking on the environment and human health and gaps in regulation, today's vote in the European Parliament's committee working on Industry, Research and Energy shows the continued promotion of shale gas development in Europe.

Antoine Simon, shale gas campaigner for Friends of the Earth Europe said: "Today's vote shows that some European politicians are out of touch with their constituencies, and the most recent evidence about the dangers of shale gas on local communities and the environment."

"Concerned communities across Europe are taking action against shale gas development and France has reiterated its ban on fracking – but parliamentarians risk letting industry interests side-line Europe's vision for a more sustainable, low-carbon energy future."

Today's vote acknowledged the need for in-depth analysis of the environmental and health aspects of shale gas, and the need for a robust regulatory framework. But, despite this, still promotes the development of shale gas in Europe – downplaying, and undermining, the role of renewables and energy savings in achieving Europe's climate objectives.

Local opposition to the threat of shale gas continues across Europe, with a global day of action against fracking this Saturday (September 22). European member states must suspend on-going activities, abrogate permits, and ban new projects, whether exploration or exploitation, says Friends of the Earth Europe. Europe must embrace a low-carbon future, based on renewable energy and improved energy savings.

A short video from the European Greens, in collaboration with Friends of the Earth Europe, explaining the environmental and health impacts of shale gas released today can be watched below or found here:


Watch a video of the action itself, from the European Greens: