We are most pleased to invite you to participate in an evening of discussion on the issue of shale gas in Europe with our distinguished speakers:
- Mr Szymon Polak, First Secretary, Energy Section of the Permanent Representation of Poland to the EU;
- Dr Ian Duncan MEP (ECR/UK);
- Mr Philippe Lamberts MEP (Greens/BE)
The debate will be moderated by Suzanne Lynch, EU Correspondent for The Irish Times.
This event is kindly sponsored by:
About the debate
In January 2014, following the publication of a recommendation by the European Commission on shale-gas exploration, the Commissioner in charge of the environment, Mr Janez Potočnik, stated that “shale gas is raising hopes in some parts of Europe, but is also a source of public concern. The Commission is responding to calls for action with minimum principles that Member States are invited to follow in order to address environmental and health concerns and give operators and investors the predictability they need.” The Commission’s recommendation invited EU Member States to apply a series of principles on planning, assessment of environmental impacts and risks, use of best practices and environmental monitoring. EU Member States were asked to give effect to these principles within a period of six months and to inform the Commission regularly about the measures which have been put into force. The Commission also undertook to monitor the results of the recommendation via a publicly available scoreboard in order to both map the state of play of the matter in a comparative perspective and to review its approach by the end of 2015.
Several authoritative commentators have pointed out that the incoming European Commission will be under pressure to consider binding EU-wide rules covering environmental and safety standards while continuing to elaborate the EU energy strategies towards the 2030 framework for climate and energy. At the same time, the interest in natural gas production in Europe has been growing as a consequence of current geopolitical developments and risks to security of supply which force Europe to consider alternative sources of energy supply and develop emergency plans and back-up mechanisms.
Originating from the unprecedented increase in gas production in the US due to the technology of extracting gas by the unconventional so called “fracking” technique, the issue of shale gas has emerged as a highly sensitive matter. It has been subject to controversies within the Old Continent between those in favour and those against the use of this energy source, as also shown by EU Member States which have adopted varying approaches to tackling this issue.
Which way forward for shale gas in Europe?
Please note that the debate will be held under the Chatham House Rule. The event will commence with a welcome drink at 7h00 pm, followed by a debate at 7h30 pm. After the debate there will be an opportunity for questions and discussions. We look forward to seeing you at 7h00 pm on the 9th of September at Science14 Atrium, rue de la Science 14-B, Brussels.