The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!
Despite intense lobbying by the fossil fuel industry, today's vote in European Parliament demonstrates that there is no consensus for allowing large-scale shale gas development in Europe. More than one third of MEPs—Members of Parliament—voted in support of a moratorium on fracking in the Parliament's first vote on shale gas.
Although the moratorium amendment fell short of a majority, the final version of the Parliament's reports on shale gas identified the climate, environmental and health risks associated with unconventional gas.
While it is disappointing that a majority of the Parliament did not agree that an appropriate response to the documented risks of fracking is a moratorium, the reports and moratorium vote were only the first skirmish in the long-term battle to permanently ban fracking from Europe. Food & Water Europe, together with civil society groups across Europe, will continue to work with MEPs to increase awareness of the risks and negative impacts associated with large-scale unconventional gas activities.
"The fact that one-third of MEPs, representing a diverse political spectrum, voted in favour of the moratorium, shows that there is wide spread concern about fracking. These members saw through the fossil fuel industry's smokescreen about 'sustainable fracking,'" said Food & Water Europe policy officer Geert De Cock. "These 262 MEPs recognized that forms of extreme energy like shale gas, will hinder, not facilitate, the transition to a much-needed low-carbon energy future."
Food & Water Europe will make sure that the European Commission offers a swift follow-up to the Parliament's call for an EU-wide risk management framework for unconventional fossil fuels exploration and extraction. Allowing the unconventional gas industry to be established detracts from the EU's efforts to decarbonize its economy by 2050. We will continue to inform EU decision-makers about how importing extreme energy extraction methods will do little to reduce European gas prices or improve the EU's energy security. A massive investment in shale gas will only lock Europe's energy systems into a continued reliance on fossil fuels.
Visit EcoWatch’s FRACKING page for more related news on this topic.
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
by Jordan Davidson
Taking action to stop the mercury from rising is a matter of life and death in the U.S., according to a new study published in the journal Science Advances.
By Alisa Opar
For Chinook salmon, the urge to return home and spawn isn't just strong — it's imperative. And for the first time in more than 65 years, at least 23 fish that migrated as juveniles from California's San Joaquin River and into the Pacific Ocean have heeded that call and returned as adults during the annual spring run.
By Jessica Corbett
Dozens of students, parents, teachers and professionals joined a Friday protest organized by Extinction Rebellion that temporarily stalled morning rush-hour traffic in London's southeasten borough of Lewisham to push politicians to more boldly address dangerous air pollution across the city.
Jose A. Bernat Bacete / Moment / Getty Images
By Bridget Shirvell
On a farm in upstate New York, a cheese brand is turning millions of pounds of food scraps into electricity needed to power its on-site businesses. Founded by eight families, each with their own dairy farms, Craigs Creamery doesn't just produce various types of cheddar, mozzarella, Swiss and Muenster cheeses, sold in chunks, slices, shreds and snack bars; they're also committed to becoming a zero-waste operation.
By Jessica A. Knoblauch
Summers in the Midwest are great for outdoor activities like growing your garden or cooling off in one of the area's many lakes and streams. But some waters aren't as clean as they should be.
That's in part because coal companies have long buried toxic waste known as coal ash near many of the Midwest's iconic waterways, including Lake Michigan. Though coal ash dumps can leak harmful chemicals like arsenic and cadmium into nearby waters, regulators have done little to address these toxic sites. As a result, the Midwest is now littered with coal ash dumps, with Illinois containing the most leaking sites in the country.