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.”
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.”
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 350.org 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.