DEVE committee demands binding framework
By Marie-Martine Buckens | Wednesday 20 June 2012
The European Parliament’s Committee on Development (DEVE) has taken a clear stance against the exploitation of shale gas. The report by Catherine Grèze (Greens-EFA, France), adopted in committee on 19 June, highlights the European Union’s responsibility towards the developing countries and the need for a binding legal framework.
This is the first text by the European Parliament that contradicts the “pro-shale gas” approach recommended by Boguslaw Sonik (EPP, Poland), rapporteur for the Committee on the Environment (ENVI, the lead committee), commented Grèze after the vote.
Mobilisation by citizens across Europe against the exploitation of shale gas has been unprecedented, but the consequences of this new form of energy extend beyond Europe’s borders and are even more alarming for the developing countries, said the rapporteur.
Many studies, notes the report, demonstrate that the extraction of shale gas presents serious risks to the environment and human health. The acquisition of land for oil and gas exploitation also represents a key driver of land-grabbing worldwide and seriously threatens local communities.
Existing EU legislation does not offer adequate guarantees, according to Grèze. Backed by the DEVE committee, she recommends the adoption of binding EU legislation through the strengthening of standards and regulations on corporate governance applied to the banks and funds that finance them.