French MPs have voted to ban the technique of hydraulic fracturing to exploit shale gas reserves, but the licences already issued for shale gas fracking remain in place.
Opponents of shale gas fracking want a total ban on the practice. They are concerned that the multinationals holding the licences will get around the proposed restriction, so want the licences revoked.
The proposition was passed on May 11 by 287 votes to 186. The Socialist Party and Green MPs voted against. There were protests outside the parliament building. Shale gas fracking is highly dangerous for the environment and contaminates water supplies.
It involves using a high-pressure blast of water, sand, and chemicals to create a shockwave to break open cracks deep in the earth and shift the gas into collection areas.
The bill will now pass to French senators, who will debate it on June 1.