Friday, June 5, 2015

Open Letter from David Lauer: Send a Strong Signal for the Energy Transition Worldwide with a Ban on Fracking in Germany

PLEASE NOTE: This is a rough translation of the original letter that is written in German. The English version of the letter will not be sent to German Members of Parliament.

To: The Members of the Committee for the Economy in the German Parliament, The Members of the Committees for the Environment in the German Parliament,

Berlin, 5 June 2015

To whom it may concern,

The Environment Committee of the Federal Council has advocated on 22 April 2015 to prohibit "the breaking of rock under hydraulic pressure for the exploration and production of hydrocarbons". Nevertheless, the federal government wants to essentially hold on to their current bill and allow fracking in Germany. Since Germany is perceived as a leader in protecting the climate and environment worldwide, the German legislation also is a strong signal for other countries. Particularly in countries of the global South, the use of fracking is accompanied by severe environmental and social impacts. We therefore urge you to ban fracking in Germany and to thus send a strong signal in favour of the energy transition - in Germany and worldwide.

To still limit global warming to two degrees Celsius, two thirds of the world's known fossil fuels must remain in the soil according to the International Energy Agency. The development of new deposits by Fracking runs counter this target. The fracking boom in the US has led to a sharp decline in oil prices worldwide, thus reducing the incentive to promote climate-friendly alternatives. The poorest countries and population groups suffer most from the consequences of climate change.

This holds equally true with regard to fracking: Some of the largest shale reservoirs worldwide are located in developing and emerging countries, often in extremely dry and earthquake-prone regions. The use of fracking does not only directly compete with the supply of drinking water or agricultural irrigation, but can also trigger violent earthquakes. In addition, there are conflicts over the use of land, often with indigenous populations.

In Germany, the potential for shale oil and natural gas is relatively low. The exploitation of unconventional deposits in Germany would afford neither a crucial contribution to security of supply, nor would it lead to falling gas prices or significant impulses on employment in this country. The Advisory Council on the Environment therefore concludes that the extraction of shale gas in Germany cannot be justified with energy policy reasons. Given the large environmental, health, climate and development risks, we urge you as a member of the Environment/Economy in the German Parliament to ban fracking in Germany and to thereby send a strong signal for the energy transition - in this country and worldwide.

Yours sincerely,

Name Here

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