Amendment 27 – urging local and regional authorities not to authorise fracking – was rejected. But paragraph 4 – demanding three binding targets on energy efficiency, renewables and greenhouse gas emissions – passed.
The shale gas amendment calling for local and regional authorities not to authorise shale gas (and other unconventional hydrocarbon) activities was rejected 384 votes to 239 however the EP is calling for Environmental Impact Assessments for both exploration AND extraction, despite ring-wing attempts to delete.
This reference to the Environmental Impact Assessment is part of the paragraph 90 of the text and here is how it reads:
“90. Calls for the Commission, when coming forward with legislation on hydraulic fracturing, to include a mandatory environmental impact assessment for both the exploration and extraction of shale gas; stresses, moreover, that there is insufficient data on the chemicals used in the hydraulic fracturing process; calls on the Commission, therefore, when coming forward with such legislation, to ensure transparency as regards all data on these chemicals in order to secure the highest possible level of public health and environmental protection;”
Campaigners managed this time to have a majority in favor of a mandatory EIA both for exploration and exploitation, for any kind of activities.
It is REALLY confusing, but please bear in mind that this is NOT related to the review of the EIA Directive (which makes the situation even more stupid). This paragraph is part of an Own-initiative report of the European Parliament about the 2030 climate and energy package, therefore, it is “just” an opinion report with no binding authority, but it is usually taken as a reference by the European Commission for future related legislative initiatives.
The final vote on the EIA Directive will normally take place next week, and, as far as known, no amendment referring to shale gas will be made, but we first need to wait for the coordinators’ meeting of the ENVI Committee