Gas drilling in the Wadden Sea can be blocked by denying the permit: Think Tank
Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality Minister Carola Schouten may refuse to grant a permit for gas extraction under the Wadden Sea. The Wadden Academy think tank came to this conclusion after studying the current nature regulations at the request of the Parliament’s Standing Committee on Economic Affairs and Climate.
According to the five experts from the Wadden Academy, including four professors from different disciplines, a permit should only be issued if there is no doubt about the harmful effects of gas drilling under the Natura 2000 zone. There are doubts. about it, and the government must deny the permit on the basis of the European Habitats Directive and the nature conservation law, the Wadden Academy said.
“According to the minister, no adverse consequences for nature are expected in the short term,” wrote the Wadden Academy in its opinion. However, according to experts, the minister takes too little account of uncertainties, including in the calculation of the relationship between subsidence, sedimentation and sea level rise.
There is a lot of social resistance against plans for new gas drilling in the Wadden Sea near Ternaard in Friesland. Natural gas has been extracted from small deposits in the Wadden region since the 1980s. Nederlandse Aardolie Maatschappij (NAM), owned by Shell and ExxonMobil, pumps gas under the mud flats near Ameland and Blija.