Interfax: Rasmussen’s claim Moscow funds “anti-fracking” environmentalists absurd – Greenpeace

File Photo of Blue Flame from Natural Gas

MOSCOW. June 20 (Interfax) – Greenpeace has rejected a claim made by NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen that Russia funds European environmentalists opposing shale gas production in Europe.

“Greenpeace sees this suggestion as absurd because the Organization and many other environmental groups are calling for fracking which used in exploiting shale formations, to be banned across the world,” Greenpeace Russia said in a statement on Friday.

The head of Greenpeace Russia’s energy program, Vladimir Chuprov, said that environmentalists have for years been opposing the production of shale gas and shale oil.

“For years Greenpeace has been campaigning globally years against the projects that are harmful to the nature and public health – the production of shale gas and oil, Arctic shelf drilling, tar sand production and deepwater drilling. We believe that both Europe, and Russia, and America must reduce their dependence on fossil fuel and gradually replace it with cleaner and safer sources of energy, for example, wind and solar power,” Chuprov was quoted as saying on the Greenpeace Russia website.

According to Greenpeace, the fracking ban is sought by dozens of public organizations and numerous local activists who have formed a global anti-fracking movement active the world over, from South Africa to the Donetsk region.

“The negative effects of fracking for the health of local population and the environment are so numerous that the benefits of using it are brought almost to nothing. They include air and soil contamination with up to 700 types of toxic substances, air pollution, and an increase of seismic activity. It is because of these effects and public protests that many countries have banned entirely or suspended the exploitation of shale formations. Among them are France, Germany, the Netherlands, a number of U.S. states,” Chuprov said.

Earlier NATO Secretary General fogh Rasmussen accused Russia of funding European environmentalists opposing shale gas production in Europe.

He said Russia is working actively with nongovernmental organizations opposing shale gas production in Europe, in particular, the use of fracking technologies, to keep the European Union dependent on Russian natural gas.