On July 10, 2015, Dutch Minister of Economic Affairs, Henk Kamp, announced that the Dutch Government has banned commercial exploration and extraction of shale gas over the next five years. He also declared that existing permits for exploration activities will not be renewed. According to the government, there remain too many uncertainties regarding the environmental and public health consequences of shale gas development.
This moratorium is an extension of a previous temporary ban on hydraulic fracturing voted by the Dutch Parliament in September 2013.
This decision comes at a time when the District Court of the Hague recently ruled against the Netherlands requiring the country to reduce its annual greenhouse gas emissions by at least 25% at the end of 2020. When announcing the continuity of the shale gas moratorium, Henk Kamp specified that the future possibility of shale gas development will be examined in light of sustainable energy goals.
Written by Chloe Marie - Research Fellow