LONDON’S Green Party Euro-MP has welcomed a report adopted by the European Parliament this week calling for tough new rules on ‘fracking’ – and calling for a ban on the practice in sensitive areas.
The recommendations – which are not legally binding – call for caution, tougher regulation and the strict application of existing EU rules relating to the use of toxic chemicals and water pollution in light of serious health and environmental concerns.
But she said they didn’t go far enough, and called for the EU to adopt the precautionary principle and ban fracking altogether until its impacts on human health and the environment are fully understood.
Speaking after the vote, she said:
“The European Parliament has highlighted the growing public concern with the use of shale gas and the damaging methods used in its extraction.
“This report calls for caution while the health and environmental impacts are fully assessed and, crucially, for EU liability rules to be revised so that the companies involved in fracking are fully liable for all costs incurred and are obliged to provide financial guarantees to cover all the potential risks – even those that are yet emerge.”
She added: “Those companies exploring fracking to help meet Londoners’ energy needs would be better pursuing renewable technologies – and those designed to make London’s housing stock more energy efficient.”
The European Commission has previously raised doubts over the compatibility of fracking with EU legislation on water quality. Doubts have also emerged over whether all of the substances involved in the process meet EU rules on chemicals.