Fracking causes harm and violates human rights – interim opinion of international tribunal


A panel of judges at an internationally-recognised tribunal has concluded that governments and industry have failed in their obligations to protect the public from the impacts of fracking.

A preliminary statement issued by the Permanent People’s Tribunal session on fracking said the process contributed to climate change and involved “massive violations” of human rights. Preliminary statement of Permanent People’s Tribunal on fracking

The interim opinion said the industry “has failed to fulfil its legal and moral obligations” and governments have, in general, “failed in their responsibility to regulate the industry” to protect people communities and nature.

The tribunal hearings, all held online last month, considered heard evidence from individuals, experts and non-governmental organisations about the impact of fracking on the environment, people’s lives and on communities.

The interim opinion is not the court’s final judgment but it may indicate how the judges are thinking. The final advisory opinion on is expected in the autumn.

The statement, issued earlier this week, included the conclusion:

“The evidence we have considered is consistent internally, almost without exception. It is also consistent with the external evidence to which the Tribunal was referred, i.e.
the results reached, discussed and analysed in hundreds of independent reports and refereed research publications.

“The evidence clearly demonstrates that the processes of fracking contribute substantially to anthropogenic harm, including climate change and global warming, and involve massive violations of a range of substantive and procedural human rights and the rights of nature. Thus the industry has failed to fulfil its legal and moral obligations.

“The evidence also shows that governments have, in general, failed in their responsibility to regulate the industry so as to protect people, communities and nature.
In addition, they have failed to act promptly and effectively to the dangers of climate change that fracking represents.”

Permanent People’s Tribunals have no power to compel people to attend hearings, give evidence or to enforce a judgement. But the Bhopal tribunal led to the adoption of the Charter on Industrial Hazards and Human Rights.

Wenona Hauter Preston New Road 170605 Food and Water Europe

Andy Gheorghiu and Wenona Hauter of Food and Water Europe. Photo: Food and Water Europe

Andy Gheorghiu, policy advisor for the campaign group, Food and Water Europe, which contributed to the hearings, said today:

“The interim opinion of the Permanent People’s Tribunal judges finally confirms within a court of international importance that fracking and the industry and governments behind this global frenzy is a threat for us all”, says Andy Gheorghiu, policy advisor for Food & Water Europe.

“States and non-state actors are fully responsible and should be held fully liable for the – in view of the existing knowledge and evidence deliberate – conducted violations of human rights and the rights of nature related to environmental and climate harm caused by the so-called unconventional oil and gas extraction techniques.”

38 replies »

  1. Oops, I must have stumbled into the church of global warming denial. Using fossil fuels like there is no tomorrow means there will soon be no tomorrow. FF belongs to yesterday’s world. Sorry guys. Adaptation to newer, cleaner power starts here.

  2. You mean the newer, cleaner power that requires the older RELIABLE power to support it?

    Paying through the nose-eg. Innogy wind site off the Lincolnshire coast, £15 BILLION nuclear on Anglesey, with the tax payer picking up the bill for capital cost and high cost of electricity produced?

    Now, here’s a good idea. How about those who want to object against fossil fuels paying the green premiums for the alternatives? The majority might then become a little more enthusiastic. I think it is called, putting YOUR money where your mouth is. (Not chugging from protest to protest in your diesel whinging as you go.) However, I suspect the one third incorporates a high proportion of individuals who feel others should pay for their way of life.

    • No , I mean paying through the nose for creating a dirtier form of energy production that won’t live up to your dreams about it’s productivity and profitability… not to mention your myopia with regards to its environmental impact costs. The FF decline is already being propped up by newer cleaner technologies. And Britain is hiding the way it subsidises fossil fuel development by the way … recently exposed.

  3. I should take a look at the suggested costings for Wressle, PhilipP. Seems to be pretty competitive to me. Will it be a lot more expensive by the time it gets to the pumps? Yes. It’s called taxation. You know, the stuff that keeps our NHS going, rather than a new yacht in the Middle East, from imported oil.
    Then of course there is the huge cost of churning through the process abused by the antis to stop progress. Proud to be keeping extra funding from the NHS, PhilipP? Life deniers?

  4. Sorry Jack. You are wrong again.

    I do not strongly support fracking. I support the testing of fracking for gas in the UK, to determine whether it can be conducted safely and economically, and offer benefits to the wider community. Your fiction of what I support may make your argument easier but it means reality moves to fantasy. But that is a common theme amongst the antis.

    Links to spurious references from the other side of the Atlantic don’t excite me, and speculation from organisations on this side of the Atlantic (often based on those spurious links) don’t excite me either. From my discussions with some others within the two thirds, that is a pretty commonly held view. It might be easy to fool some of the people some of the time, but the majority require more convincing via focused facts that apply to them. For example-actual costs to the NHS (none, so far) as against actual revenue reduction to the NHS (significant, so far-just take a look at Cuadrilla accounts and see how much they will be able to set against taxation due to delays. Yes, some of their own making, a lot due to process being utilised to try and delay and then stop an authorised operation by the antis.)

    But then, we all get excited by different things. I could find millions of links to things on the Internet, much of it from the other side of the Atlantic, which are supposed to fulfill the same function. Doesn’t mean they become fact.


    For the record then, you do not strongly support Fracking , you ONLY strongly support tests for Fracking , really ??

    Considering you tirelessly and relentlessly spend so much time on this forum , it’s only in support for shale gas testing is it ??

    WHAT EXACTLY are the ” wider benefits for the community ” ????
    The life changing £ 150.00 offered to over 95% of PNR residents ??
    The 11 permanent jobs on offer, how many of them will be minimum rates of pay security guard jobs ??

    Wherever fracking has pops up its head the communities are giving a resounding NO ….. They have all considered the benefits Martin and still said NO .

    What is so difficult to understand about that ?? …. I would of thought that for someone like yourself who has just stated that they are NOT in strong support of Fracking , you would be more than happy to acknowledge the wishes of the communities when they say NO.

    • OK MARTIN ,

      FOR ALL the members of this forum

      EXACTLY WHAT is ” fiction ” that I am posting on this forum ???
      Please fully explain and provide supporting evidence.

      If you are referring to the above links from world leading Professors and Doctors of medicine, science and engineering … PLEASE then , let’s go though my above links one by one so that you can fully explain to all on here why they are so wrong and you are right .

      I have another long list once we’ve got though the above.

  6. OK MARTIN ,….. IN THE INTERESTS of being 100% Accurate .


    As some people may like to try and ” split hairs ” with my exact wording .

    YOU SAY in your above post , ” QUOTE.”

    “Links to spurious references from the other side of the Atlantic don’t excite me, and speculation from organisations on this side of the Atlantic (often based on those spurious links) don’t excite me either”

    If you are referring to the above links from world leading Professors and Doctors of medicine, science and engineering …… PLEASE then , let’s go though my above links one by one so that you can fully explain to all on here why they are so wrong and you are right …… I ASSUME that’s what you are trying to say , when you say the words, quote ” don’t excite me. ” Is that correct ,YES or NO ????

    I have another long list once we’ve got though the above

  7. Make it up as you go along Jack.

    Two thirds of those interviewed do not oppose fracking. I am one of them who want it tested. If it is positive fine, if not, I will lose nothing from that directly. Would I like it to be positive? Yes, I would, as energy security is what drives energy costs for a country like the UK-see the 1970s. I remember the cost of energy insecurity in the 1970s, you probably don’t and it would not fit your arguments anyway, so would be discarded. But, even the short term insecurity the Beast from the East produced should be quite instructive to you. Try to imagine what a 400% prolonged increase in price looks like.

    NIMBYs? Yep. Lots of them looking for reasons to prevent projects in their locality, but they go ahead, because there is not local rule that over rides national legislation/regulations. I would have thought the Appeal process would have shown that. Local financial incentives? At the moment, just to cover some of the inconvenience of the testing phase. That’s quite logical whilst no output is there to contribute more, but there are suggestions in the public domain as to how that could expand. DYOR. But, don’t press it too much because you might just see the undecided will decide pretty quickly when they see the possibilities. Speculation? Not really, there are other projects which show that, and the majority of Market Research for similar projects also supports that. Cost V benefit moves opinion. Cost on it’s own, not so much.

    Why am I right about spurious links? Simply Jack, because no fracking for UK gas has been successfully completed, as yet. So, the data is currently selectively based upon other countries and/or speculation. Why would that excite me? We will see data produced for the UK. I can wait for that. You may think shouting will prevent that, but it will not. Equally, the “dreadful fracking” in the USA continues to expand, and in a country where any small infringement sees lawyers knocking each other down in the rush to find a client, it continues to expand. There is a clue there concerning reality and excitement. Interestingly, many of your buddies think fracking for gas in UK will be unsuccessful economically. If that is such a widely held view, why so desperate to stop it being proven? Certainly a proportion of the two thirds ask the same question, and are reluctant to follow such an illogical approach, sensing some porkies being driven by them.

    But, I’m sure Lord John Browne is the sort of expert you adore-selling $30bn of assets for $9bn! Now, that really is world leading. Not a good reason to believe experts always have it sussed.

    “Your fiction of what I support” was what I typed. I then explained it to you. So, why ask the question when the answer is there in black and white?

    Must away. I have a visitor at the door. Have a good weekend.

    • YES, but MARTIN ,.

      TWO THIRDS ARE saying NO to Fracking in Lancashire . I have presented you unquestionable proof, you have presented SWEET NOTHING ..

      It’s all there take a look , not sure how your word only, can speak for the majority .

    • MARTIN ,


      I can of the top of my head think of at least a dozen ways in which we as a country could cut back on the enormous wastage of energy, without sacrificing warmth and comfort . At the same time increasing our dependency on 100% renewables…

      I genuinely acknowledge and accept that you are an educated man Martin , therefore I’m sure you to could also, easily think of at least a dozen ways as well.

      I’M NOT SURE what you really stand to gain from the unenviable task of promoting the fracking industry , but seriously , you would have a better chance of selling Snow to Eskimos.

    • MARTIN ,

      I’M GLAD you have brought up in your above response ” The Beast From The East ”

      The experts say these extreme cold spells are caused by CLIMATE CHANGE …… So your answer to that, is to extract and burn more fossil fuels with Fracking.

      A polar scientist has warned of more weather events like the Beast From the East as climate change worsens, saying with the world’s current carbon emissions, humans will struggle to produce food and enough clean water within the next fifty years.

      Beast from the East’ and freakishly warm Arctic temperatures are no coincidence

      Explainer: The polar vortex, climate change and the ‘Beast from the East’

    • MARTIN ,

      YOU call my links, quote, ” spurious links ” which are based upon, quote, ” the data is currently selectively based upon other countries and/or speculation.”

      Whilst offering absolutely ZERO evidence to back up ONE SINGLE WORD you say, you still try and rubbish my above links . WHY IS THAT ???

      The evidence ( links ) I present , for which I have plenty more , comes from a long line of well trusted organisations , with world leading Doctors and Professors of medicine , science and engineering .

      Some of these Doctors and Professors also live in the countries where fracking is taking place ,

      Are not they the best type of people to listen to ???

      • I’m afraid it’s like talking to a broken record JTL. MC makes lots of wild sweeping statements, with no evidence to back them up all the time. He then has the audacity to dismiss peer-reviewed science and research as twaddle, as if he’s studied all these specialist subjects all his life and has far more experience and knowledge than those who actually have, ROFL. I would say he is often economical with the truth and distorts the facts. I mean he has this obsession with 2/3 of the surveyed population that don’t support fracking, actually meaning the majority support it; it’s this kind of twisted “reasoning”. I think you might get to see how close his views align with right-wing conspiracy lunatics if you ask him does he agree with the world climate science consensus on anthropogenic climate change. No doubt you will see a flurry of straw man arguments. I guess those foolish fossil fuel investments need vigorous defending, despite the truth. If only this incompetent, undemocratic government would use half the subsidy for fracking, and fossil fuels generally, towards renewables and battery storage, instead of destroying the Feed-In Tariff, energy efficiency measures (to REDUCE energy use) for cold homes and businesses, etc, ad nauseum, think how this country could save on energy bills and all the associated benefits. Wholeheartedly decarbonising our economy (not tinkering round the edges and token words) would encourage long-term, stable jobs, protect health, the last fragments of British wildlife (both on land and in water), the environment and, most pressing of all, meet our climate change targets. The global commons we all share must be protected from short-term profit and short-sightedness; from the selfish, undemocratic, corporate power lords, blinded by greed and who are not doing it for what we, the people, actually need. It starts at the local level, but at the same time needs action nationally and internationally.

    • I look forward to our future debates MARTIN .

      Thanks, I also send you my Best Wishes for the weekend .

  8. Jack. Don’t get frustrated at Martin.

    As a campaigner myself we get one or two people we come across who are absolutely unwavering in their support for fracking. It is the nature of people to have a broad spectrum of views.

    However, in my own experience these people are in a very small minority.

    The majority of people still do not know about the proposed activities of the fracking companies and when alerted to these become opposed to the industry. So the campaign to inform the public goes on and it is a fight the anti-fracking campaign will win, it is just a question of time.

  9. Hello again Jack.

    Nice to see the praise for Jim receiving his knighthood! Funny, seems to be missing. (I did make the suggestion a few weeks ago, but suspect my input wasn’t what swung it!)

    Sorry, your reliance upon “experts” is not my idea of being excited. Last week, your expert was Lord Browne (hmmm.) This week you have selected a few more. Well, how about the hundreds of economists reference Brexit, all the Pollsters reference Scottish Independence, Treasury forecasts, IMF forecasts-need I go on? I look at their information, and ask “does it pass the common sense test”. If it doesn’t, then I don’t become excited. (Used to, but no longer.) A good example was the Scottish Indy Ref. Pollsters were saying up to the last minute it was too close to call, as they agreed another poll for another media outlet, (kerching), yet there were around 10% “undecided” that Scottish friends would confirm would mainly vote against independence but would not tell anyone which way they were going to vote as hostility would result. Turned out exactly that way, not close at all.

    And quoting Nimbys against fracking, is no different to Nimbys against most developments. My village has had to accept a plan for 300 new houses. Our only input is where they might go, except the local councillors will make sure they go where they want them ie. away from them and their buddies! I know of no-one in my village who supports 300 new houses, but life is like that. You will find it is quite different if you ask the wider population about new houses. Then the majority will become quite positive and actually demand them. Once you say, “there are 300 for your village” the response changes dramatically-hence, Not In My Back Yard.

    I know the antis will continue to try and make some positives as to the Market Research results, and I can understand that as an attempt to keep each other excited, but you need to be careful as those who look at the results without a tendency to be excited in the same way, find the manipulation of the results indicative of a wider potential to massage other sources of information. I can assure you, not a good recruiting tool. But, I have offered that input before, knowing it would be ignored, so nothing much will change (IMO) until there are some decent results from test fracking. Then, you may see some significant changes to the MR results, and they may be a bit more meaningful as a value judgement might be incorporated.

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