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.
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.”
“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.”