European strategy for shale gas
In a speech delivered on 21 October Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik has spoken in favour of a European strategy for shale gas. Potočnik argued that because of the lack of adequate legislation and proper risk management there was a need for the commission to act. The Commission has concluded that there is a case for a set of common general principles and measures, much along the lines of the ones proposed in the Golden Rules of the International Energy Agency. It believes that an EU-wide risk management framework for unconventional fossil fuels extraction, with a view to ensuring that harmonised provisions apply across all Member States, would best address concerns about shale gas. Read Potočnik’s full speech HERE. A new initiative for a Framework for Safe and Secure Unconventional Hydrocarbon Extraction is now part of the Commission’s 2014 work programme. The initiative has the stated aim of ensuring :
“Opportunities to diversify energy supplies and improve competitiveness, including by production of unconventional hydrocarbons, can be safely and effectively taken up in those Member states that choose to do so”.
“Would target clarity and predictability for both market operators and citizens including for exploration projects, full consideration of greenhouse gas emissions and management of climate and environmental risks, including to health, in line with public expectations”.