UN urged to back global fracking ban as millions prepare to join climate protests


Anti-fracking march through Manchester, November 12 2016. Photo: DrillOrDrop

On the eve of tomorrow’s international climate strikes, more than 450 celebrities, activists and campaign organisations have urged the United Nations to endorse a worldwide ban on fracking.

The call came in an open letter to the UN secretary general, Antonio Guterres, who next week opens the organisation’s climate change summit in New York.

The letter, whose signatories include actors Mark Ruffalo, Emma Thompson and Amber Heard, said:

“continued production, trade and use of fracked hydrocarbons for energy, petrochemicals and plastics torpedoes our global efforts to tackle climate change and violates basic human rights.”


Photo: Friends of the Earth

Mark Ruffalo (above), who gained wide recognition for playing the superhero Hulk, said this afternoon:

“The climate emergency is a casting call for heroes, and we need everyone to show up.

“Step one is to stand up and say, loudly and clearly, that there is no place for fracking on a climate-destabilized planet.”

Amber Heard, the actor and UN human rights champion, said:

“Every well and every pipeline adds more methane and carbon dioxide to the atmosphere and pushes us closer to the edge of the climate cliff. The science demands, and our children demand, a global ban on fracking.”

180321 PNR Emma Thompson Refracktion8

Emma Thompson outside Cuardrilla’s shale gas site at Preston New Road, 21 March 2018. Photo: Refracktion

Emma Thompson, who has protested against fracking at Cuadrilla’s Lancashire shale gas site, said:

“Fracking is the fossil fuel world’s worst idea to date.

“It’s pointless, expensive, doesn’t create jobs that will serve a community, but it does pollute, damage and contribute to wrecking the climate.”

Millions of people are expected to take to the streets in climate protests in more than 4,000 locations across 130 countries, starting tomorrow.

Author and founder of Bill McKibben, another signatory of the letter to the UN, said:

“Fracking sounds nearly as ugly as it actually is. For the sake of the climate we need this obscenity to end right now.”

Wenonah Hauter, founder and executive director of Food & Water Action and Food & Water Europe, two of the organisations behind the letter, said:

“The fracking surge in the US has been a boon for the polluting petrochemical industry, which turns fracked gas into plastics. Our planet and our oceans are drowning in plastic and fracking companies are profiting. This needs to stop once and for all.”

Antonio Guterres has told nations attending next week’s UN summit:

“I want to hear about how we are going to stop the increase in emissions by 2020, and dramatically reduce emissions to reach net-zero emissions by mid-century.”

Another signatory of the letter, Cornell professor of ecology and environmental biology Robert Howarth, said:

“Over the past decade, methane levels have been rising rapidly in the atmosphere, contributing significantly to the unprecedented global climate disruption seen in recent years.

“Over 60 percent of the increased global methane emissions are from the oil and gas industry. Fracking for shale gas is a climate disaster.”

Other individual signatories include: author Naomi Klein and Karenna Gore, daughter of the former US vice president; designers Vivienne Westwood and Joe Corre; human rights lawyer Jennifer Robinson; children’s singer Raffi; and academic Sandra Steingraber.

  • DrillOrDrop reported earlier this year that a UN committee had recommended the UK government consider a complete ban on fracking. Fracking at the UK’s only site, at Preston New Road, was suspended by the Oil & Gas Authority on 26 August 2019 following a 2.9ML earth tremor.

Open letter



5 replies »

    • Dear me? What a display?

      Meanwhile back in the real world, this is Naomi Klein on the Case for a Green New Deal, Greta Thunberg, & The Rise of Ecofascism

      Gotta go now, joining up the families and friends to have a really good day protesting against the recidivistic greed and profiteering and inertia we see so dismally and repetitively displayed on Drill or Drop all too often.

      Don’t worry about the past, the past is over and done with, the fossil fuel fantasist, the warmongers and the fearmongers and profiteers have had their day, and it was the worst day in Earth’s history, time to protect and prepare for the only sane and responsible future of our children and future generations.

      There is no alternative, no 2nd ecological support system, no planet B, we have to live here in the real world, not some fiscal fracking fantasy of endless irresponsible irreparable consumption and hatred and corruption, greed and hatred for the very planet which has given us life.

      After all, it’s the only intelligent responsible way forward out of this present greed and insanity. Someone’s got to drag them out into the light of day, it might as well be now as anytime.

      Have a good day, and many more for all of us.

      [Typo corrected at poster’s request]

  1. Well, that is an exercise in futile virtue signalling at a time when it has just been demonstrated to the USA, and the world, the insecurity of energy supplies!!

    “We don’t need middle east oil and gas but will help our allies”. Donald Trump.

    Does anyone with even a few grey cells think that will be sacrificed? How many $billions and how many American lives sacrificed are required to secure far off energy supplies USA does not require? An election was recently lost over a coal mine in Australia. The majority are not as daft as a few would like them to be.

  2. Didn’t take long!

    Just watched the Greens attempting to explain world economics again, on The View, Sky. Why do they keep trying? Another car crash.

    When such issues are obviously beyond their competence, progress could be better achieved by concentrating upon items that are not beyond their competence. However, then the constant excitement/hysteria would be lost as a tool. Bit of a dilemma.

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