Lib Dem MEP Sir Graham Watson: ‘We have green, clean energy everywhere’ - La Treizième Étoile: A blog on EU politics
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Lib Dem MEP Sir Graham Watson: ‘We have green, clean energy everywhere’

Wednesday, 21 November 2012
At the European Parliament in Strasbourg on Tuesday afternoon, Liberal Democrat MEP Sir Graham Watson spoke in the debate on the environmental impacts of shale gas and shale oil extraction activities.

Citing the situation in the area of outstanding natural beauty of the Mendip Hills, Somerset, where there are plans to exploit shale gas, Sir Graham said: “of course we need to reduce our dangerous levels of energy dependence on Russia, but the extraction of shale gas requires millions of litres of water and chemicals, it threatens already scarce water supplies with contamination and it risks geological fracturing which can lead to earthquakes.

I have in my constituency an area of outstanding natural beauty where there are plans to exploit shale gas. This is simply not needed,” he said. “We have green, clean energy everywhere. While we will, in some countries, to some extent, no doubt develop shale gas, we can invest now in alternative technologies that can provide for almost all of our energy needs.

Sir Graham is currently President of the European Liberal Democrats and at their recent Congress in Dublin earlier this month adopted a resolution relating to their focus year of Energy Transition.

European Liberal Democrats believe "energy transition is of crucial importance to Europe and climate change, ever increasing dependency on energy imports and rising energy prices pose a triple challenge for EU member states and Europe as a whole". Against the backdrop of an unprecedented economic and financial crisis in Europe, the Congress adopted a resolution that stated "the challenges of a secure, sustainable energy supply and climate change are as urgent as ever”.

The resolution, amongst other things, calls for “renewable energy sources to be supported in order to help the sector to grow and make it competitive, but those sector-specific subsidies to be phased out as the industry grows and competes freely with other low-carbon forms of generation”.

Click here to read the adopted resolution in full (pdf).


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