New German Govt Would Put Moratorium On Fracking, Cut Wind Energy Support


BERLIN, Nov 8 (Reuters) - German Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservatives and the Social Democrats (SPD) agreed to retain a moratorium on fracking for gas and cut incentives for wind power in areas where it is abundant, if they form a new coalition government.

Merkel's Christian Democrats (CDU) and its Bavarian sister party, the Christian Social Union (CSU), emerged as the largest force from the Sept. 22 election but they need a partner.

They are making progress in talks with the centre-left SPD to form a government later this month and Friday's agreements on energy policy added to the momentum.

Leaders of the two sides told journalists in Berlin they had agreed to put a moratorium on hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, for shale gas.

Ute Vogt, an SPD leader on environment issues in the talks, 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.

Shale gas fracking has so far been banned in Germany and the stance of the potential new government reinforces prospects that unconventional gas exploration will not be pursued in the country. The next election is not due until 2017.


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