1. Majority of MEPs support fracking moratorium in symbolic vote
For the first time, a majority of MEPs (338 to 319) has voted in favour of an immediate moratorium on hydraulic fracturing in Europe in view of its “risks and negative consequences for the climate, the environment, and public health.” The MEPs voted in support of Amendment 1 to the Energy Security Strategy report.
However, as the final report as a whole was not adopted, the moratorium on “any new operations involving the exploration or extraction of unconventional fuels within the EU until this is proven to be safe for the environment, citizens, and workers” will not take effect.
While some pro-fracking groups in the European Parliament voted against the amendment and the report as a whole, the European United Left – Nordic Green Left group (GUE/NGL), which voted for the fracking moratorium, opposed the final report on the grounds that it “underlined the importance of nuclear energy” and “moves in the same direction as neoliberal policies.”
The votes of Irish MEPs on the fracking moratorium amendment were as follows:
- Considers that the use of hydraulic fracturing in the Union entails risks and negative consequences for the climate, environment and public health, and threatens achievement of the EU’s long-term decarbonisation goal. Furthermore due to the limited potential of unconventional fuels to help meet the EU’s future energy demand, coupled with high investment and exploitation costs, considers that hydraulic fracturing is not a promising technology. Therefore urges the Member States not to authorise any new exploration or extraction operations of unconventional fuels within the EU until it is proven safe for the environment, citizens and workers;
On May 7, the Industry Committee in the European Parliament is scheduled to vote on the 800 amendments that were submitted to the initial draft report by the rapporteur, the Lithuanian EPP MEP Saudargas. All texts available here.