Lawmakers in France's lower house of Parliament gave preliminary backing on Jan. 25 for a total ban on shale gas exploration and extraction.

However, it is not certain that the ban will go to the Senate and return to the lower house for a final vote before parliamentary work is suspended in February so lawmakers can campaign for a legislative election in June.

The conservatives, which have a majority in the Senate but not the lower house, are opposed to the ban, which would come on top of an ban on fracking in place since 2011.