On 8th of July , at the European Commission in Brussels took place a very important event, the Launching of the European and Technology Network on Unconventional Hydrocarbon Extraction, organized by JRC Directorate.
The official purpose of this network is to gather scientific information concerning shale gas and hydraulic fracturing form all the parties involved: industry, academia, NGOs, civil society. Joint Research Center has received a mandate to establish and manage this network in close cooperation with DG Environment and DG Energy and involving also DG Research & Innovation (RTD), DG Climate Action (CLIMA) and DG Enterprise and Industry (ENTR) The list of speakers was impressive: all Directors of EC ‘s several DGs- moderator was Vladimir Šucha, General Director, DG JRC :
Marco Landolfi, permanent representative of Italy at EC
Dominique Ristori, General Director, DG ENER,
Karl Falkenberg, General Director, DG ENV, Robert-Jan Smits, Director-General, DG RTD,
Jos Delbeke, General Director, DG CLIMA
Mart van Bracht, President of EuroGeo Surveys.
Nicholas Banfield, Director , DG ENV,
Andreea Strachinescu, Head of Unit, DG ENER,
Yesterday, (8 July 2014) the Commission launched a Science & Technology Network on Unconventional Fossil Fuels, which will be coordinated – not by DG Environment – but by the Joint Research Centre’s Institute for Energy & Transport (based in the Netherlands).
- Need to combine competitiveness, sustainability and security
- Need for an adequate legal framework that is science-based, with adequate governance
- Need for regulators to keep up with technological developments
- Sharing knowledge across the EU
- Involve different stakeholders, including civil society
- A ‘call for expression of interest’ will be issued in the next few weeks to invite stakeholders to participate.
- A first meeting will be held in October to decide on tasks and divide the work in working groups.
- The Commission will decide on the need for new legislation on shale gas and other unconventional fossil fuels by August next year. The data generated by this network will feed into the Commission’s discussions.
- The Commission signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the US Geological Survey as well as the EPA.
- A contract was also signed with the International Institute for Applied systems analysis in Vienna (if my notes are correct, to conduct a study into the geopolitical impact of the shale gas ‘revolution’)
- The Association of the European Geological Surveys has been contracted to develop better experience in assessing the EU’s shale gas potential.
Withdrawn Access to Justice and Soil Directives must be replaced
d-soil-directives-must-be-replaced/ (THIS LINK MIGHT NOT BE ACTIVE)
The European Commission’s withdrawal of two crucial pieces of environmental
policy at the moment that citizens across Europe are voting in the European
elections sends a bad signal as to what Europe’s priorities are.
The formal withdrawal of the 2003 proposal for a directive on access to
justice underlines the urgent need for the Commission to speed up its work
on a new legislative proposal in this area. Jeremy Wates, EEB Secretary
General reacted: “A new legislative proposal in this area is urgently
needed, not only to create a more democratic Europe, not only to improve the
implementation of environmental law, not only to create a more level playing
field for business but also in order to ensure that the EU is fully in
compliance with its obligations under international law, namely the Aarhus
The withdrawal of the soil directive after almost ten years of being blocked
by a handful of Member States reveals a disturbing lack of vision and
understanding of the importance of European soils, which poses a direct
threat to our food security and limits our ability to tackle climate change
and prevent the loss of biodiversity.
The Commission should swiftly come forward with new proposals in these areas
and show that Europe is serious about guaranteeing citizens’ rights and
protecting crucial natural resources.
Announcement in Official Journal of the European Union: