Written question – Horizon 2020 funding for shale gas exploitation risks – E-005617/2014

Parliamentary questions

2 July 2014

E-005617-14

Question for written answer

to the Commission

Rule 130

Bas Eickhout (Verts/ALE)

Subject:  Horizon 2020 funding for shale gas exploitation risks

Answer(s)

On 11 December 2013 the Commission published a call for Horizon 2020 research funding applications on the topic ‘competitive low-carbon energy’(1).

According to a recent news article this funding will subsidise gas companies which would otherwise have had to pay for research into the potential environmental impacts and risks of shale gas exploration themselves(2).

1. Why is the Commission awarding funding to shale gas projects rather than to projects benefiting research into energy efficiency and renewable energy, which are far less damaging to the environment and far more promising in terms of ensuring the sustainability and security of Europe’s energy supply?

2. Does the Commission consider this type of EU funding to be consistent with the following:

— Article 37 of the Charter on Fundamental Rights,

— Article 191(2) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU,

— the Commission’s climate and energy objectives for 2020 and 2030?

3. Will the Commission reconsider its plan to award Horizon 2020 funding to research into shale gas exploitation in order to ensure consistency with the EU’s core environmental principles and policy objectives?

(1) http://ec.europa.eu/research/participants/portal/desktop/en/opportunities/h2020/topics/1126-lce-16-2014.html#tab1

(2) http://www.euractiv.com/sections/energy/eu-slated-cynical-eu113m-shale-gas-subsidy-302779

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