Activists urge UN to ban fracking

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Campaigners at rally outside Cuadrilla’s Preston New Road fracking site, 31 August 2019. Photo: Refracktion

Campaigners from Europe and North America have met a senior member of the United Nations to call for a ban on fracking.

The group, from the US, Mexico, Ireland and Germany, put its case to Satya Tripathi, a UN assistant secretary-general.

The meeting followed an open letter sent to the UN secretary general, Antonio Guterres, in September 2019 signed by grassroots groups, activists and celebrities including actors Mark Ruffalo, Emma Thompson and Amber Heard.

DrillOrDrop reported that the letter 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.”

Also in 2019, the UN committee on the elimination of discrimination against women recommended the UK government introduce a “comprehensive and complete ban on fracking”.

As far back as 2012, the UN Environment Programme issued a global environmental alert suggesting that fracking posed environmental and health risks. It said lessening the dependence on fossil fuels would be less risky than continuing unconventional gas development.

190305 Corre and Boyd versus Ineos

Joe Corre (second left) with fellow campaigners outside the Royal Courts of Justice in London, 5 March 2019. Photo: DrillOrDrop

Joe Corre, the founder of the UK campaign group, Talk Fracking, questioned the moratorium on hydraulic fracturing introduced by UK government in November 2019. He said:

“Countries like Britain are employing smoke and mirrors strategies to continue fracking while pretending they’re not. The United Nations must impose a global fracking ban for the sake of humanity. Fracking simply puts another log on the fire of the climate emergency. It’s no bridging fuel. It’s fossil fuel’s last stand.”

His mother, the fashion designer Vivienne Westwood, said:

“If we’re serious about saving the planet from Climate devastation, then Fracking – or any other form of extreme energy extraction under a different name – like acidisation – must be totally outlawed”.

In April 2019, a permanent people’s tribunal on human rights and fracking concluded that materials and infrastructure used in unconventional oil and gas extraction violate human rights. It called for a UN ban on the process.

Andy Gheorghiu, of Food and Water Action Europe, said:

“It’s time for the UN to take action and finally recommend a global ban on fracking to tackle one of the worst crises in human history.”

4 replies »

  1. The UN can not apply a ban.

    Attempt at a futile gesture. If successful, a few activists could then be satisfied, and nothing would change in the real world-except the UN might find their funding and support from certain countries would be eroded, which a few other activists would like.

    Meanwhile, nothing of significance regarding fracking would change.

  2. Never thought I would agree with you Martin but you are absolutely correct the UN are as much use as a chocolate fireguard, they have no power to enforce anything.

    • “If you build it, they will come”, John.

      Welcome to the Field of Dreams. Not too many more required, and then the game can start!

      On a more serious note, I did spend some time observing the UN in(action) during the Skripal issue. Not that impressive, except I think I spotted the Donald’s replacement for 2024, in the US representative. She looked impressive and to have a chance to be the first US female President. Now, that would be ironic if the Republicans actually achieved that first!

  3. [Edited by moderator]

    The UN?, are they mad!!, it doesn’t matter they are looking for a shock response and to feel normal mixing with the common folk!
    “Ooh, how punk.”

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