The European Commission will launch this draft communication on shale gas on 22 January 2014 as part of a series of measures to establish a climate and energy framework to 2030. The aim is to create a harmonised approach to assessing and managing the environmental impact ‘fracking’, the process by which a combination of chemicals are used to blast open stone to release the gas stored within. The environmental impact has been a considerable issue especially concerning water pollution and earthquakes.