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Jose Bove pledges to help Britons resist Total fracking

 
Protest Against Fracking in U.K.

French MEP and campaigner Jose Bove, right, speaks during an anti-fracking rally at Balcombe in Sussex, England. Photograph: Tal Cohen/EPA

 

Powered by Guardian.co.ukThis article titled “Jose Bove pledges to help Britons resist Total fracking” was written by John Vidal, for theguardian.com on Monday 20th January 2014 10.49 UTC

Radical Green MEP Jose Bove has pledged to help British communities resist fracking by French oil company Total.

Last week, Total announced it was taking a 40% share in shale gas exploration and drilling in the East Midlands.

“We clearly need a moratorium at the European level against fracking. If needed, I will come to be in front of the police in Britain. I fought against Total, I know them. They tried to frack in France but we defeated them. I am happy to resume the battle here,” said the pipe-smoking sheep farmer who has twice been imprisoned following campaigns against GM food and McDonald’s in France.

Bove, who on Sunday visited the oil drilling site near the west Sussex village of Balcombe, was talking in London with three other European Greens at a US primary-style hustings event ahead of elections in June.

He accused David Cameron of helping far right parties and extremists across Europe by trying to limit migration. “Cameron is the best agent for the far right in Europe. He is a disgrace. We listen to him saying he wants to limit the rights of Europeans to migrate. It’s like saying Californians should be banned from New York. To say that immigrants are costing more … is totally unacceptable. They come skilled. They pay their taxes. They feed into the economy.”

Bove warned that the EC plan for a free trade agreement with the US would only benefit corporations which will be allowed to sue any government which tries to restrict imports.

“It is hugely dangerous. It threatens entire economic sectors by opening borders to all imports. It will pit region against region, because of the invitations to tender that will be required in law. The rules say that companies will be able to take governments to court. It opens to legal challenge [bans] against GMOs, shale gas, chemicals, anything. These bilateral agreements are slicing up democracy in favour of corporations.”

Bove and the other European Green party candidates lambasted Britain for backing nuclear power, describing it as “anti-democratic”.

“Nuclear energy does not go with our ideas of democracy or local energy production. There is no sense of ownership with nuclear. It’s not clean and [uranium mining] is creating terrible landscapes,” said German MEP Ska Keller, a former spokesperson of the Federation of Young European Greens.

Italian MEP Monica Frassoni accused commentators who backed nuclear power as a way to reduce emissions of “cheating”. Without naming anyone, she said: “They limit the discussions only to emissions, they forget how much it costs to build and to decommission plants, they try to win the argument by cheating. The nuclear business is exactly the opposite of sustainable energy.”

“Hinckley B [the planned new nuclear plant in Somerset] is crazy. The more renewable energy there is, the cheaper it becomes. But we must not give all the advantages of low price energy to industry and load all the costs on to people,” said Rebecca Harms, co-chair of the Greens in the European parliament.

“Nuclear is a high-risk energy model. We are going through a process of change, phasing out nuclear and fossil fuels and phasing in alternatives. The transition is difficult but you can see in Germany that it is working,” she said.

 

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