Anti-fracking groups from across the UK, gathering in Balcombe this afternoon (19/1/14), were told they had to win the battle against shale gas.
The Green MEP and French farmer, Jose Bove, told a rally outside Cuadrilla’s oil exploration site in the village: “Losing is not an option. For the sake of the next generation, we must fight until we win.”
He said anti-fracking campaigners had to grow into a national movement. “What is important is to gather more and more people and change the view at the national level.”
Mr Bove said there was an opportunity in the upcoming European and national elections to challenge politicians about their support for fracking. “When politicians are afraid to lose their place in parliament they are going to change the way they think.”
He said the UK had become a symbol of the fight against shale gas. “You are in the middle of the picture and you have to stay there until the victory.
“You are right to fight and you have to win this fight. Climate change is the most important issue of the future and you will not be able to fight climate change if you do not fight shale gas.”
Another Green MEP, Rebecca Harms, of Germany urged the groups: “You cannot talk enough about it.” She said “You must be strong and smart.” The meeting also heard from the UK’s Green Party leader, Natalie Bennett. She described as “desperation” the government’s decision to give 100% business rates from shale gas sites to local councils. David Cameron, she said, was losing the argument. “We can win this fight in the UK and across Europe. Lets go out and do it.”