PACE encourages bans on ‘fracking’ in favour of cleaner and safer energy alternatives

The PACE Standing Committee declared that “hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) raises a number of concerns related to public health and environmental protection”, and urged all member States to adopt strong legislation in this field, encouraging bans on fracking in favour of cleaner and safer energy alternatives.

In a resolution on the exploration and exploitation of non-conventional hydrocarbons in Europe, based on a report by Geraint Davies (United Kingdom, SOC), PACE insisted in particular on the need for compulsory environmental impact assessments for any fracking project, transparency of processes and participation of citizens, as well as criminal prosecution of companies and compensation in the case of environmental damage.

While supporting the efforts of States to achieve global goals aiming at responding to the threat of climate change, as set out in the Paris Agreement, PACE recommended that member States focus research and long-term investment in sustainable alternatives, away from current energy production and consumption patterns that are largely dominated by fossil fuels.

PACE also encouraged member States “to take global leadership in renewable technology and co-operation to help developing countries grow with its fair share of energy in a sustainable way”.

The Assembly finally recommended “that free trade deals involving member States, including the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) and the Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement (CETA), help countries to fulfil their obligations under the United Nations Conference on Climate Change 2015 (COP21) and to freely and fairly safeguard their environments.”