08 November 2013, News Wires – German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives and the centre-left Social Democrats have agreed in coalition talks to put a moratorium on hydraulic fracturing for shale gas, according to reports.
Leading members of the two parties confirmed the decision to journalists outside the talks in Berlin, Reuters reported.
Ute Vogt, a Social Democrat (SPD) leader on environment issues, said that as a result fracking will not be possible in Germany before it is clear that the technology is safe. “We’ve agreed to a moratorium,” she told reporters.
Katherina Reiche, a leader in Merkel’s Christian Democrats (CDU), said the use of chemicals that could damage the environment should be banned.
While shale gas fracking has so far been banned in Germany, Merkel’s prior government had drawn up legislation laying out conditions under which fracking could be done outside water-sensitive areas, in measures agreed and then put on hold until after the election.
The replacement of the defeated pro-business Free Democrats of the previous centre-right government with the centre-left SPD in the new administration appears to have put paid to any shale gas fracking in Germany in the short term.