International tribunal recommends worldwide ban on fracking


A panel of judges at an internationally-recognised tribunal has urged the United Nations to ban fracking.

The Permanent People’s Tribunal session on fracking and climate change has concluded that materials and infrastructure used in unconventional oil and gas extraction violate human rights.

In an advisory opinion, the judges said the violations were against rights to life, water, full information and participation and the rights of indigenous people, women and children.

The judges concluded there was “an axis of betrayal between corporations and governments” that allowed the industry to violate human rights.

The industry was also a major contributor to climate change and a threat to local ecosystems, they said.

They called for a UN special rapporteur on human rights and the environment to investigate violations of rights by the industry. They also said the activities of transnational companies should be regulated by law.

The judges recommended that individual states should:

  • Recognise in their constitutions the right of citizens to a healthy environment
  • Recognise in law processes such as people’s tribunals and citizens inquiries
  • Consider adopting the Declaration on Human Rights and Climate Change
  • Include punitive damages in legal judgements for violations by unconventional oil and gas operators
  • Cease persecution of climate activists and defenders of human rights
  • Decriminalise protests against the unconventional oil and gas industry

The tribunal hearings on fracking and climate change were held in May 2018 and received testimony from across the world.

DrillOrDrop reported last year on the preliminary findings. These concluded that the industry had failed to fulfil its “legal and moral obligations” and governments had failed in their responsibility to regulate the industry.

Permanent People’s Tribunals have no power to compel people to attend hearings, give evidence or to enforce a judgement. But they can be influential. The tribunal on the gas leak at Union Carbide’s pesticide plant in Bhopal, India, led to the adoption of the Charter on Industrial Hazards and Human Rights.

This is the second international organisation in the past month to recommend a fracking ban. Last month, a committee of the United Nations recommended that the UK government halt the process of hydraulic fracturing.

47 replies »

  1. Ironic as ever that the pro-frackers on here keep promoting their industry, ignoring the future of their kids and grand-kids – not much point having dosh in the bank if the planet isn’t survivable for humans in 50 years’ time. Oh, and there are far bigger profits to be made from renewables than fossil fuels anyway, so it’s baffling as to why they don’t invest in those instead – unless they already have shares in oil/gas/fracking of course …

    • Perhaps its inertia, fear of change, fear of being seen to be wrong, fear of losing invested money, which is just a fantasy, or just plain:

      Take your choice.

      I always remember the Hopi native Turtle Islander’s (Now called America) predictions of the future based upon what has happened before when the human race last royally screwed up:

      “We are the Ones We’ve Been Waiting For”

      “You have been telling people that this is the Eleventh Hour.
      Now you must go back and tell the people that this is the Hour.
      And there are things to be considered…

      Where are you living?
      What are you doing?
      What are your relationships?
      Are you in right relation?
      Where is your water?
      Know your garden.
      It is time to speak your truth.
      Create your community.
      Be good to each other.
      And do not look outside yourself for your leader.

      Then he clasped his hands together, smiled, and said, “This could be a good time!
      There is a river flowing now very fast. It is so great and swift that there are those who will be afraid.
      They will try to hold on to the shore.
      They will feel they are being torn apart and will suffer greatly.
      Know the river has its destination.
      The elders say we must let go of the shore, push off into the middle of the river, keep our eyes open, and our heads above the water.

      And I say, see who is in there with you and celebrate.
      At this time in history, we are to take nothing personally, least of all ourselves.
      For the moment that we do, our spiritual growth and journey come to a halt.
      The time of the lone wolf is over.
      Gather yourselves!
      Banish the word ’struggle’ from your attitude and your vocabulary.
      All that we do now must be done in a sacred manner and in celebration.

      We are all about to go on a journey,
      We are the ones we have been waiting for.”

      Attributed to – Thomas Banyacya Sr. (1910-1999);
      Speaker of the Wolf, Fox and Coyote Clan
      Elder of the Hopi Nation

      Change is always traumatic, but once you accept that change is inevitable and even necessary for our evolution as i think our present situation with the outmoded and dangerous technology of fossil fuels, i find it is just best to go with the flow, no matter how fast it is. Holding on to the river bank pretending it is safer to do so, is no longer a viable, or perhaps even a survivable option.

  2. Next General Election, nobody over 65 allowed to vote, our time has gone, nobody with over £5million in assets allowed to vote, they can look after themselves, nobody in the Armed Forces or the Constabulary allowed to vote, they are owned by the Establishment, everyone else over the age of 15 HAS TO VOTE, it’s their future after all!

    • London introduces a ULEZ – Ultra Low Emission Zone – restricting vehicle emissions’ pre 2015 levels to encourage zero emission and electric vehicles and charging for high emission vehicles.

      London Council claim it’s not a money making scheme, but London taxis are exempt as yet.

      No move to make electric taxis, no infrastructure changes, no move to supply electric hire vehicles or bicycle’s and no move to provide ranks of charging points.

      So, perhaps more of a wallpaper exercise than anything groundbreaking, to coin a phrase.

      A move in the right direction maybe, but perhaps more of a cosmetic and bureaucratic operation than anything that has any real fundamental changes to policies and infrastructure.

      Fairly standard half measure as usual.

  3. No need to ban UK fracking. They are failing anyway. 3 years on and not even one well completed. It is not a viable industry.

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