Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Help Support EcoWatch

Will Germany Ban Fracking?

Energy

German Ministers laid out plans to ban hydraulic fracturing (fracking) for shale gas on Friday, although anti-fracking campaigners believe plans for the new law should go much further.

Image credit: Gasland movie

In a press briefing, the Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel and Environment Minister Barbara Hendricks announced that the government will begin drawing up legislation on the issue and have it approved in the final half of this year, with a review taking place in 2021, saying: “There won’t be fracking of shale-gas and coal gas for economic reasons in the foreseeable future.”

However, the proposed new law doesn’t go far enough for many opponents, due to a number of exceptions which allow fracking under specific circumstances. For example, the proposed ban applies to “unconventional” fracking taking place more than 3,000 meters below the surface but will still allow “conventional” fracking below 3,000 meters to take place.

A not-so-unlikely coalition of beer brewers and greens have been piling pressure on the German government to ban fracking. Whilst Germany’s beer-makers are worried about the potential for water contamination, there has been growing mainstream concern over the health, climate and environmental implications of using fracking to unlock the estimated shale gas reserves of between 1.7 and 2.7 trillion cubic tons.

German brewers concerned over water contamination have rallied behind calls for fracking ban. Photo credit: Creative Commons

“Fracking must be banned in Germany without any exceptions” Hubertus Zdebel, a Left party member of the German parliament’s committee for environment, conservation, construction and reactor safety.

According to estimates from the Federal Institute of Geosciences and Natural Resources, the planned restrictions would still allow the exploitation of half of all unconventional gas deposits in Germany, Zdebel said.

So whilst a seven-year fracking ban sounds positive in principle, it seems there is still much room for improvement and developments will need to be monitored closely.

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Food Tank

By Danielle Nierenberg and Alonso Diaz

With record high unemployment, a reeling global economy, and concerns of food shortages, the world as we know it is changing. But even as these shifts expose inequities in the health and food systems, many experts hope that the current moment offers an opportunity to build a new and more sustainable food system.

Read More Show Less
Pexels

By Brian J. Love and Julie Rieland

The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted the U.S. recycling industry. Waste sources, quantities and destinations are all in flux, and shutdowns have devastated an industry that was already struggling.

Read More Show Less
Pixabay

By Kris Gunnars, BSc

Unhealthy foods play a primary role in many people gaining weight and developing chronic health conditions, more now than ever before.

Read More Show Less
A man pushes his mother in a wheelchair down Ocean Drive in South Beach, Miami on May 19, 2020, amid the novel coronavirus pandemic. CHANDAN KHANNA / AFP via Getty Images

The U.S. reported more than 55,000 new coronavirus cases on Thursday, in a sign that the outbreak is not letting up as the Fourth of July weekend kicks off.

Read More Show Less
To better understand how people influence the overall health of dolphins, Oklahoma State University's Unmanned Systems Research Institute is developing a drone to collect samples from the spray that comes from their blowholes. Ken Y. / CC by 2.0

By Jason Bruck

Human actions have taken a steep toll on whales and dolphins. Some studies estimate that small whale abundance, which includes dolphins, has fallen 87% since 1980 and thousands of whales die from rope entanglement annually. But humans also cause less obvious harm. Researchers have found changes in the stress levels, reproductive health and respiratory health of these animals, but this valuable data is extremely hard to collect.

Read More Show Less

Sunscreen pollution is accelerating the demise of coral reefs globally by causing permanent DNA damage to coral. gonzalo martinez / iStock / Getty Images Plus

On July 29, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed into law a controversial bill prohibiting local governments from banning certain types of sunscreens.

Read More Show Less

Trending

Oat milk is popping up at coffee shops and grocery stores alike, quickly becoming one of the trendiest plant-based milks. jacqueline / CC by 2.0

By Kelli McGrane

Oat milk is popping up at coffee shops and grocery stores alike, quickly becoming one of the trendiest plant-based milks.

Read More Show Less