Washington, D.C. –Just two weeks after the largest climate march in history, over 250 groups from nearly 40 countries urged United Nations Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, to reject fracking as a part of the Sustainable Energy for All Initiative in a letter sent to him today. This came on the eve of the Global Frackdown, a Food & Water Watch initiated international day of action to ban fracking on October 11th that will feature hundreds of actions on six continents, demonstrating broad support for a ban on fracking.
“Across the globe a powerful movement is emerging that rejects policies incentivizing fracked natural gas as a bridge fuel to as sustainable future. Any initiative claiming to promote sustainable energy for all must stimulate energy efficiency and renewable energy programs, not foster fracking for oil and gas,” said Food & Water Watch Executive Director, Wenonah Hauter. “The hundreds of Global Frackdown events mark the growing consensus that fracking should be banned and that the United Nations should be on the forefront of pushing for truly sustainable energy solutions.”
Scientific evidence continues to mount that fracking is inherently unsafe, endangering natural resources and threatening public health. Fracked gas is beginning to be recognized as a much greater driver of global warming than originally thought. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) found that over a 20-year time frame that methane is 87 times more potent in trapping heat then carbon dioxide. Efforts to curb climate change have traditionally focused solely on carbon dioxide, but these efforts will remain inconsequential if the climate impacts of methane are not seriously addressed.
“Fracking is poisoning underground water, the air and peoples’ livelihoods, so the gas corporations can make massive profits under the guise of aborting to some degree global warming,” said Australian activist and Global Frackdown event host Dr. Helen Caldicott. She continues, “fracking involves the use of up to 200 chemicals releases not only methane but chemically contaminated water containing radium, radon and other radioactive elements. Because of fugitive emissions at the well sites, natural gas in all its iterations has a greater impact upon global warming than CO2.”
A recent Food & Water Watch report, a comprehensive review of more than 150 recent studies on fracking’s impacts, concludes that only an outright ban will protect our water, air, health and climate from the disastrous consequences of fracking for oil and gas.
“The oil and gas industry’s primary players are multinational corporations with international influence,”explains Gasland Director, Josh Fox. “Wherever there is fracking; water contamination, air pollution and health concerns plague the people living near those operations. Fracking is a global problem that is fought in communities across the world. Taking local actions across the globe for the Global Frackdown is the best way to collectively unite our voices to stand up and show not only local leaders, but the entire international community that the people are not beholden to the fossil fuel industry and want to ban fracking and to move quickly to develop renewable energy now.”
Although fracking has global consequences, many decisions regarding this practice are made at the state and local level. The Global Frackdown is an opportunity for people to take a stand against a global problem, right in their own communities. Dr. Sandra Steingraber, an active anti-fracking activist in New York, explains why she is joining the Global Frackdown: “As a biologist, I know the adverse health and environmental effects of fracking, but I’m also fighting this accident-prone, methane-leaking, carcinogen-dependent industry as a mother, for the sake of my own children and the world I’m leaving to them. Banning fracking in New York will show my young son and daughter—as well as the nation and the world–that the oil and gas industry Goliath can be beaten with a slingshot made of science, love, and political power, and renewable energy solutions.”
Contact: Ryanne Waters, Food & Water Watch, (818) 371-0912 (cell), rwaters(at)fwwatch(dot)org