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Naturefriends support a ban of shale gas and shale oil extraction in Europe
Water taps emitting flames, sick people and dead animals: Shale gas fails to qualify as transition technology on the path to climate neutral energy production. On the occasion of the Global-Frackdown day on the 19th October 2013 Naturefriends, together with other environmental organisations, raise global awareness of the dangers that fracking entails.
In a resolution of the 28th September 2013 Naturefriends Germany and France demand a Europe-wide ban on fracking of the extraction of unconventional deposits of shale oil or gas. In a position paper NFI, together with its member organisations, strictly state their opposition to the unsafe extraction of shale gas and oil through fracking.
The extraction of “unconventional” gas and oil is no transition technology
Fracking, short for hydraulic fracturing, is a highly controversial form of oil and natural gas extraction. Fracking involves pumping underground at extreme pressure, millions of litres of water, mixed with a toxic cocktail of chemicals, including known carcinogens, which also can lead to the contamination of groundwater. While modern fracking for oil and gas is lining the pockets of oil executives, it is not generating broad-based economic growth. In fact, fracking brings rampant environmental and economic problems to rural and urban communities alike.
Moreover, shale gas does not constitute a transition technology on the path to a climate neutral energy production, because gas combustion implies the continued emission of CO₂ into the atmosphere, causing an increase in greenhouse gas, while falling gas prices lower the incentive to invest in the energy turnaround and imply an increase in subsidy funding. Extracting shale gas by means of fracking thus constitutes a social and ecological burden.
Increasing opposition by the population
Following the lead of the USA, several European countries intend to develop unconventional gas and oil deposits, in the hope of setting up independent energy sources. In many European countries, however, the population is fighting this controversial and highly toxic technology. So far France is the only European country that introduced a general fracking ban. The French constitutional court recently rejected a claim of 2011 for the loosening of this regulation.
The European Parliament supports tighter restrictions
On the 9th October 2013 the European Parliament recommended a compulsory environmental impact assessment for fracking projects. The European delegates supported the idea of stipulating environmental impact assessment procedures with public participation for future new methods.
Naturefriends International, who represent 500.000 members in 43 countries, support the global action day against fracking and call on the European Union and all Member States to suspend ongoing shale gas and shale oil exploitations and ban the exploration of future activities. NFI advocates compulsory environmental impact assessment procedures with public participation on any present-day methods as well as on more environmentally friendly methods in future.
Anita Pinter, Press and Communication
Diefenbachgasse 36, 1150 Wien
Tel.: +43 1 892 38 77-24