700+ campaigners ask Ireland to introduce UN resolution to ban fracking

More than 700 environmental organisations, climate campaigners, physicians and community groups are asking Ireland to introduce a resolution at the United Nations General Assembly to ban fracking.

Gooseneck at Cuadrilla’s Preston New Road shale gas site, 20 August 2019. Photo: Ros Wills

The group, which includes actors Jane Fonda and Mark Ruffalo, environmentalist Bill McKibben and entertainer Keith Barry, sent a letter to Irish government leaders and Ireland’s UN ambassador, Geraldine Byrne Nason.

It urges Ireland to present the draft resolution, entitled Ban on the use of hydraulic fracturing/fracking to extract fossil fuels from the ground.

The resolution highlights the need to confront urgently the impacts of fracking on human rights, climate, environment and public health.

One of signatories, Edward Ketyer, president-elect of Physicians for Social Responsibility Pennsylvania, said:

“A global ban on fracking will improve public health and safety everywhere, not just in communities that have been damaged and scarred by unconventional oil and gas operations.”

Sandra Steingraber, senior scientist at the Science and Environmental Health Network and co-founder of Concerned Health Professionals of New York, said:

“Negative health effects from fracking — complications of pregnancy and poor birth outcomes, damage to the heart and lungs, mental health impacts, cancer — will all be reduced as a result of a global fracking ban”.

Ireland banned fracking in 2017 and earlier this year the government blocked imports of fracked gas into the country. It also approved a moratorium on the development of import terminals for liquified natural gas, pending a review of security of supply.

Keith Barry said:

“I was proud when Ireland took its part and banned fracking.

“This is an incredible opportunity, and I want us to lead again. Poorer countries depend on us. We’ve been there. This would be an incredible achievement if Ireland were to lead the way on a global ban. Let’s do this.”

He added:

“I am delighted to have signed up to this [draft resolution] and stand with friend Mark Ruffalo, and Jane Fonda who I’ve always admired for their ongoing incredible work to highlight the risks of fracking on that side of the pond.”

If Ireland agrees to introduce the resolution it would need a simple majority vote at the UN General Assembly to pass. The coalition said it believed there would be support because the large number of UN member states that are vulnerable to climate change and sea level rise.

In a statement the coalition said today:

“A UN resolution in favour of a global ban on fracking would set a high bar for ambitious results at the COP26 [climate conference] in Glasgow.”

11 replies »

  1. Thanks for the post of “700+ campaigners ask Ireland to introduce UN resolution to ban fracking” Ruth and Paul.

    I was interested to note that one of signatories, Edward Ketyer, is president-elect of Physicians for Social Responsibility Pennsylvania, who were the authors of the report on “Fracking With Forever Chemicals”. The document and the video can be found here and the Drill or Drop? In the comments of the post:- Isle of Wight MP opposes UKOG’s permit application for Arreton.

    There is also a movie “Dark Waters” if you are willing to look at that. “Dark Waters” relates the consequences of the manufacture by Dupont and the use and dumping of PFAS/PFOS also called C8. The movie stars Mark Ruffalo who I see above, and is also a member of the group who brought this request for the UN to ban fracking.

  2. Just a quick question.

    During 2020, 22% of the gas that flowed through the UK distribution grid was from imported LNG. The second largest supplier of this imported LNG after Qatar was the USA.

    The Irish government have dropped plans to build and develop their own LNG terminals in an effort to stop fracked gas imports, but how will they implement their frack gas block in respect to IC1 and IC2 (the two inter connectors that transport gas from the UK distribution grid to meet 93% of Irish gas demand) if LNG imports to the UK from the USA continue in the same manner during 2021?

  3. A global ban? By the UN?

    Since when have they held sway over the largest producers and users of such items?

    And, I believe there are things called vetoes.

    Taking these facts into account, such campaigns do still raise the profile of a few, perhaps even up to 700, so some good will come out of it. No, not cynical, just the reality.

    • MARTIN

      Do you also remember that pitiful public, online Government petition by supporters of UK Fracking ?????

      PETITION…….. To facilitate and accelerate the onshore fracking for shale gas ( UK )

      It ran for 6 months, ending in January 2016

      Only managed to scrape together a paltry 872 votes .

  4. I know, little green jack.

    On line petitions are such a measure of common sense and knowledge, aren’t they??!!

    I remember the one about Boaty MCBF. I am still amazed it was not acted upon. LOL.

    Now, if you want to get a petition really motoring, just do the leg work and collect actual signatures. You will gather masses for just about anything as long as you stand in the right place. Outside coffee shops are one of the best places, with the public ready to scribble away for just about anything as long as they can get to their caffeine quickly.

    Goodness, 4.24am! Now, that is dedication-or, a different time zone. But welcome back. And now a new, improved jack, having had his links removed!
    Surely, you would not want those college drop outs precluded from their $60k/annum jobs washing dishes in the Permian, jack?

    I do also remember that the tracker survey conducted in the UK continued to show that most of those surveyed were not against fracking in UK, jack. So, gathering signatures on line, or on paper, may not be a true reflection of public opinion. Perhaps you should address your comment to someone who is not qualified in marketing, and practiced such for many years, and had to deal with suggestions from those who were not? Otherwise, I fear it is not a fair contest. But, I am sure there will be loads of on line courses in marketing with good sections about how to accurately gather data regarding public opinion. Somehow, I fear, that the anti will always find the link to the dodgy supplier.

    I suspect that since I started typing this little message more than 700 will have been added to the population of the world. Perhaps there will be petitions about that? Suspect not, that one is just too difficult to deal with.

  5. You amaze me, Martin. How, in an effectively content-free post, you manage nevertheless to be condescending, to display self-satisfaction, to attack the so-called ‘antis’, to malign college drop-outs and dish washers in the same sentence, to denigrate the on-line petition method of informing and assessing public opinion, is really remarkable. All that to avoid grappling with the real question, whether, in the light of what we now know, we should not ban any new development of fossil fuel sources with a view to expediting the complete eradication of fossil fuels as an energy source. No, Martin, it won’t be easy, but, and this is the main point, it will be impossible unless the problem is recognized by such as yourself who continue to argue the completely inappropriate local-is-best case, in most cases very valid, but here manifestly not so. Your second argument – ‘think of the deleterious effect on people ‘ – again, is normally very valid. Here however it has to be countered with arguments which demonstrate the effect on people of doing nothing. Clearly, a managed transition is imperative, but this cannot include new fossil fuel sources.
    I recognize that this is not the ‘reality’ you perceive and that you doubt we can rise to the challenge. Once we have all accepted the challenge, then by working together – indispensable – hope and human resourcefulness having risen to and surmounted other ‘impossible’ challenges can, I believe, do so again. So give credit as we move in this direction.
    Again, an irrelevant friendly reminder, – you ‘practised’ marketing for many years. ‘Practice’ is a noun, although I have to concede that language changes and is changing; more and more people are using your form for the verb. I’m old-fashioned!
    If it matters to you, then think ‘advice’ and ‘advise, or ‘device’ and ‘devise’ as a mnemonic.

  6. [Edited by moderator]

    No wonder you find so much to protest about when you even try and manufacture a(nother) fake reason to protest! You are not even too concerned that you find something to protest about without even knowing about the something.

    “This cannot include new fossil fuel sources.” And, then onto the “we”.

    Yes, it can, with new better ones replacing not such good old ones. Why should that not be part of transition? Oh, I see, because “I believe” and then “we move”. Have you observed some of the environmental damage being done now by some of the old ones? And, you still do not want them replaced with better ones? Just about sums up (oops!) your approach, and it is there recorded over the last weeks and months for all to observe for all time, together with the adjustments along the way.

    And “practice” is a verb in USA. [Edited by moderator]

  7. Yes, it would be 1720.

    [Edited by moderator]

    “Cannot include new fossil fuel sources”.

    Sorry, but that is nonsense. Today it is suggested that OPEC and Russia will increase output. (Turn up the “taps” and then drill new wells if the demand is sustained.) Perhaps someone else will tell you how that is possible. The why is the key-demand. So, the demand is all in the producing countries? Nope. In the countries they export to, so they increase production as demand goes up-and then ship it, often thousands of miles. And lobby those importing countries that their supply should be what is bought. Good company?

    However, for those importing countries it would be more helpful to the environment if they took control of what they can control-produce as much as possible locally and to high standards. And, by so doing, reduce demand for imports from those countries that have so “helpfully” (maybe) agreed to increase their production and ship around the world!

    A silence on that? Yes, might be better, but I suspect there will be another attempt to defend the indefensible, even whilst the evidence is there for anyone to observe. If DoD doesn’t want it observed, no matter, it will still be there for anyone really interested in the subject to observe. They may get a clue if pump prices start to drop. (Brent Crude already has.)

  8. You clearly didn’t understand this, Martin, so I’ll try again – “No, Martin, it won’t be easy, but, and this is the main point, it will be impossible unless the problem is recognized by such as yourself who continue to argue the completely inappropriate local-is-best case, in most cases very valid, but here manifestly not so. Your second argument – ‘think of the deleterious effect on people ‘ – again, is normally very valid. Here however it has to be countered with arguments which demonstrate the effect on people of doing nothing. Clearly, a managed transition is imperative, but this cannot include new fossil fuel sources.”
    I think the gist is clear!
    My last clause should have been better expressed to avoid being pounced upon by those eager to deceive and distort – although ‘can’ has had this additional popular usage for some time. (Mea culpa!) You appear to have understood that fossil fuels are not able to be produced in quantities sufficiently great to fund the transition. Nobody doubts the existence of unsavoury corporations only too willing to exploit the gaps you are so keen to draw attention to. Nobody doubts that fossil fuels are available. Of course the exploiters exist – they should be condemned and not established as a fact of life – ‘reality’ for you. Of course new sources ‘can’ be used: they ‘must’ not be, [Edited by moderator]
    Knowing I’m repeating myself, but your incomprehension – deliberate? – makes it necessary. Let me point out again that a criminal decision to develop UK gas resources would result in an addition to the new sources exploited by the regions you cite. More emissions, more pollution, less chance for the planet. The argument couldn’t be simpler, Martin, it’s the solution that’s the problem, and we all know why. The polluters through you are finding more and more reason to pollute, in the short term to fill their pockets. The more we pollute in this way, the more difficult it will be to stop.
    PS ‘Nope’ is ‘No’ in English.

    • Oh, I quite clearly do understand, 1720.

      Sorry, it is yourself who doesn’t understand.

      [Edited by moderator], I see we have established that you are willing to support poor quality standards for imports, that are detrimental to the environment, to try and hammer a piece into the jigsaw that obvious does not fit. Interesting.

      Local is best is obviously correct, and there is no reason why it is different for fossil fuel. Just to say it is, doesn’t make it so-because it isn’t. [Edited by moderator]

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