In a boost for President François Hollande, France’s constitutional court has upheld a law banning fracking.
Anti-fracking campaigners were jubilant about the ruling:
“We must remain vigilant,” says one protester. “French people must not surrender to the stubborn petrol and gas companies.”
US firm Schuepbach Energy had challenged the 2011 ban on four counts, but all were dismissed in the court ruling.
Despite the ban, Schuepbach Energy went ahead with their planned exploration, leading to two of its permits in the south of France being suspended.
“It’s a legal victory, but also an environmental and political one,” said Philippe Martin, France’s Energy Minister.
Hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking”, involves pumping pressurised water, chemicals and sand underground to release gas trapped in shale formations.
Concerns it could pollute groundwater, trigger earthquakes and put a stop to the country’s growing shale and gas industry, led to the process being banned in France under former president, Nicolas Sarkozy.
Hollande also opposes fracking, despite protests from some of his allies, who believe he is surrendering access to a cheap energy supply.
The US Energy Information Administration (EIA) estimates five trillion cubic metres worth of shale gas reserves could lie in French soil, mainly in the Paris basin and the Rhône valley. This is believed to be the equivalent of 90 years of French gas consumption.
The French ban on fracking has strong judicial support, however, leaving these estimates unlikely to be confirmed.The ruling goes against the pro-fracking consensus that exists throughout most of Europe.
Germany is likely to be the next country to seriously explore fracking. Despite protests, the UK could also see permits granted within two years.
Poland was considered a promising location for the process, however their hopes were dashed when disappointing drilling results saw three international firms quit.
The ruling in France comes on the same day as the International Energy Agency’s prediction that the US will overtake Russia by 2014, to become the world’s biggest oil producer outside OPEC.
In spite of the consensus on fracking in Europe, the IEA prediction has reopened the debate about the continent’s ability to compete on the international energy stage.
Copyright © 2014 euronewsMore about:
- 1euronews live TV - News | euronews : the latest international news as video on demand
- 2Now is ‘right time’ for Catalonia independence vote, says Mas | euronews, world news
- 3Vatican rocked by another paedophilia scandal | euronews, world news
- 4Two container ships collide on Egypt’s Suez Canal | euronews, no comment
- 5British Muslims’ message to ISIL: Not in my name! | euronews, world news
- 6Sweden becomes first European nation to recognise Palestine | euronews, world news
- 7Algeria: ISIL offshoot releases video threatening French hostage Hervé Gourdel | euronews, world news
- 8Emma Watson threatened with naked photos leak after UN equality speech | euronews, world news
- 9How nasheeds became the soundtrack of jihad | euronews, world news
- 10International tv news | euronews: European and International tv news bulletin
- 11Iceland volcano ‘pollutes Paris’ | euronews, world news
- 12Ebola: Six new suspected cases in Spain | euronews, world news
- 13European Union News | euronews: latest breaking news and headlines about European Union
- 14Learning through “serious games” | euronews, learning world
- 15euronews speaks to Ban Ki-moon ahead of key UN and climate change talks | euronews, the global conversation
- 16Iraq: Baghdad rally held against US ‘occupiers’ | euronews, world news
- 17Mike Tyson: ‘You learn humbleness when you get older in life’ | euronews, the global conversation
- 18US delivers technical aid to Ukraine but warns over security | euronews, world news
- 19euronews apps : iPhone, iPad, Android, Windows Phone 8, Windows 8, Nokia S40, Nokia Asha, Smart TV and Google Glass
- 20Global warming to ‘cause 250,000 extra deaths a year’ | euronews, world news
Wires > News
- 05:49 CET China likely to close ‘gift’ loophole in corruption fight
- 04:58 CET China to pitch high-speed trains to California
- 04:20 CET Canada police kill ‘radicalised’ driver after he rams two soldiers
- 04:12 CET Total CEO de Margerie killed in Moscow business jet accident
- 03:23 CET Turkey to let Iraqi Kurds reinforce Kobani as U.S. drops arms to…
- 02:31 CET Panama arrests supreme court judge on suspicion of corruption
- 02:03 CET Unfinished war in Sri Lanka threatens paradise regained
- 01:54 CET South Sudan sexual violence ‘rampant,’ two-year-old raped – U.N.