MEPs support ban on fracking

European parliament logoEuro-MPs voted last week to urge member states not to allow any new hydraulic fracturing operations.

The vote is not legally binding but opponents of fracking described it as significant.

Antoine Simon, a campaigner for the Economic Justice Programme, said:

“This is the very first time that the European Parliament has made officially such a strong statement against fracking.”

“It was an opinion report without any legally binding authority and it only targets new projects but it is still a very symbolic victory.”

Keith TaylorThe text was submittedto the plenary assembly of the  European Parliament on Tuesday (2nd February 2016) by Keith Taylor (Green, South East England) and the Danish MEP Margrete Auken. It was part of discussions on a review of the EU biodiversity strategy. It urged member states:

On the basis of the precautionary principle and the principle that preventive action should be taken, and taking into account the risks and the negative climate, environmental and biodiversity impacts involved in hydraulic fracturing for the extraction of unconventional hydrocarbons, and the gaps identified in the EU regulatory regime for shale gas activities – not to authorise any new hydraulic fracturing operations in the EU

The paragraph was challenged but it was approved, along with the review, by a majority of the assembly.

The vote was: 347 in favour, 298 against and 49 abstentions.

Molly Scott CatoMolly Scott Cato, a Green MEP for South West England, said none of the region’s other representatives voted for the text. In a blog, she wrote:

“This is Europe at its best. A majority of democratically elected members doing the right thing defending our environment and communities from the frackers.”

“What is shocking and shameful is that in our region, only the Greens are willing to stand up to this dinosaur industry. We know fracking is deeply unpopular and faces strong opposition whenever and wherever it raises its ugly head. Communities across the region don’t want the noise, air, light and water pollution that this industry would bring. And for the sake of our climate we must leave fossil fuels in the ground.”

“The South West is not for shale and we will not allow this industry to devastate our beautiful region without a fight”.

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3 replies »

  1. Is this why we may have to leave the EU?? So that we don’t have to listen to sane MEPs who are concerned about the environment? And then we can carry on with our own insanity by polluting the earth and air with the chemicals needed for each ‘frack’ and all the contaminated water that has nowhere to go.
    Why can we not learn from the mistakes made by other countries,and recognise the health hazards which fracking wreaked on whole communities?

  2. Plenty of MPs support a ban on fracking. Plenty support a ban on any oil and gas development in the EU. Big deal. So in one vote that has no impact some people voted for something. Well, that happens all the time. We might consider that the reason the vote was ‘lost’ was because it didn’t mean anything. Why put lots of effort into something that is pointless? Might as well just be some people having a vote in their bathroom. All it shows is that the people that voted on a biodiversity bill don’t like it. Shock horror. Lets see them vote to return large amounts of EU farmland back to nature – or are they better at just milking the CAP?

  3. It’s good that fracking is again being raised in the EU, as after reading an EU Commission’s report on the industry, I was alarmed they concluded the industry was questionable with many dangers for the environment and a lot still needed to be learned, then finished with agreement on how they would watch what happened in the UK.

    Nice to know they were using us as guinea pigs for the EU fracking roll out…..

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