New publication Knowledge platform raises questions for parliamentary inquiry into gas extraction in Groningen
June 15, 2020
On 15 June the publication 'Gas extraction, earthquakes and the social consequences for the province of Groningen and its inhabitants' was published, an integral overview of the social consequences of gas extraction in Groningen. It was created by the Knowledge Platform Leefbaar and Kansrijk Groningen and shows the state of knowledge from research up to July 2019.
The overview outlines the impact of gas extraction and earthquakes on Groningen society in a broad sense. Various themes are discussed, such as quality of life, housing market, trust, identity and health. As in many other studies, the conclusion is that residents have been hit hard. Trust in governments and agencies is low. Feelings of insecurity, powerlessness, indignation, anger and disappointment are high. People have health problems and stress, especially if they have a lot of damage.
A new development is that society in a broader sense has also been looked at. Various research teams conclude that the policy of the national government has worsened rather than improved the gas extraction problem. In their view, an institutional crisis has been created. Lead researcher Nienke Busscher: “It is exceptional that different researchers so agree. This crisis was caused by the government itself. That will undoubtedly be addressed in the parliamentary inquiry, especially because this is a crisis that is not classified as a crisis.”
Also new is an overview of the extent to which the region as a whole has been affected. The liveability of the area is rated lower than in previous years. But residents' confidence in the housing market is slightly higher than the national average in 2019. Much is now being asked of residents' initiatives to keep the area livable. According to researchers, more investments are needed to improve the quality of life.
The image of Groningen as a province has been damaged. The number of people who associate Groningen with conviviality has fallen sharply and some tourists indicate that they will not return to Groningen because of the gas extraction problem.
More information about the publication can be found here .