Архів позначки: fracking

Resolution of Euro-Maghreb frack-free network

Euro-Maghreb frack-free network

Calling for a ban on all unconventional hydrocarbons and extractivism

United to denounce, in Europe and the Maghreb, the development of extreme fossil energy, dangerous for climate, environment and public health, and anti-democratic

We, representatives of grassroots groups and associations from 211 European and North African countries, nations and communities, met in Saint-Christol-lez- Alès (Gard, SE France) from March 7th to 9th 2014.

All of us are involved in the fight against the development of unconventional hydrocarbons2 in our own countries and communities, as well as opposing other resource extraction activities. We are all facing the same issues, and we believe it is essential to strengthen the links between our struggles. The Korbach3 Declaration formulates the key demands which unite us.

Participants gave an alarming presentation of the situation in their respective countries. In that respect, we condemn in particular:

  • Damage to the environment, public health and water resources;

  • Disregard for environmental regulations on a national, European and North African level;

  • Commodification and financialisation of territories;

  • Violent police intervention, repeated violations of human rights and non-respect of the rights of local communities to decide their future, particularly in Poland, Romania, the UK, Ukraine, Tunisia and Morocco.

  • The use of police forces by States to defend private interests.

  • In addition, we call on international organisations and bodies to put an end to these violations immediately, and we demand that they force industrial players to restore environmentally degraded areas.

The free trade treaties, in place or under negotiation (the bilateral EU/USA (TAFTA), EU/Canada (CETA), EU/Maghreb treaties, etc.), risk outweighing the decision making power of States in favour of multinational corporations. By prioritising private interests through the investor-state dispute settlement mechanism (ISDS), they will defy the foundations of democracy, the precautionary principle, all environmental legislation and the independence of the judiciary.

As we stated last January in an open letter4addressed to the European Commission and signed by over 400 European groups, the progress achieved thanks to our mobilisation could be altogether undermined.

That is why we have decided on joint action aimed at mobilising the general public and at forcing European authorities to defend and strengthen the rights of populations and environmental legislation.

This meeting has let us actively strengthen Euro-North African cooperation in the struggle against extreme energy and the extractive industry. It has reaffirmed our international solidarity towards countries which are victim of intolerable attacks by industrial players. It has supported the development of a growing movement of citizens who are outraged by the submission of the political world to private interests.

Together, we are calling on our governments to implement, on a massive scale and without delay, an energy transition based on sufficiency and energy efficiency, the abandonment of fossil fuels and the development of renewable energies.

Finally, we wish to express our total solidarity with the activists who recently lost their lives, or their freedom, namely Eugeniy Kotlarl5 (Ukraine), Omar Moujane, Brahim El Hamdaoui, Abdessamad Madri6 (Imider – Morocco).

In addition, all of the European and North African countries here present jointly state:

There are alternatives to hydrocarbons.

Let’s leave the old-fashioned model of production and the extractive frenzy behind us!



1 Germany, Belgium, Bulgaria, England, France, Northern Ireland, Italy, Greece, Lithuania, Morocco, Netherlands, Poland, Republic of Ireland, Romania, Spain & Catalonia, Scotland, Switzerland, Tunisia, Ukraine, Wales

2 Shale oil and gas and coal bed methane, oil shale and tar sands, tight oil and gas, etc.

5 Zelenyi Front

6 Mouvement Sur la Voie de 96

Is the Oil and Gas Industry Using the Crisis in Ukraine to Increase Profits?

New York Times has a front-page story reporting on a major push in the Obama administration and by Speaker Boehner to increase exports of fracked gas in response to the crisis in the Ukraine. While events there are certainly disturbing, they should not be used as an excuse for ramping up dirty gas exports that will harm communities air, water and health in the United States.

According to the Times, a major push to export dirty fracked gas is underway, led by “major oil and gas producers like ExxonMobil and Republican leaders on Capitol Hill.” Just last Tuesday, Speaker John Boehner called on President Obama to “dramatically expedite the approval of U.S. exports of natural gas.”

Yet according to the Times, the administration is already moving to advance a “State Department initiative to export American natural gas to Europe as a lever against Russia.”

One of the craziest things about this, is that the U.S. currently does not have the capacity to export large amounts of natural gas overseas, and so the claim that building out infrastructure to export fracked gas would help with the current crisis in Ukraine is just disingenuous. Long term, we need to invest in sustainable renewable energy, at home and abroad.

ExxonMobil should not be controlling our foreign policy, and we should not be sacrificing communities across the United States for illusory and short-term foreign policy objectives.

As a movement, we have made tremendous progress, but if the oil and gas industry get their way, ramped-up exports would drive even more fracking. Ironically, as fracking accounts for a large amount of climate pollution, increasing exports and accelerating fracking will actually lead to more long-term instability and global security issues.


Food & Water Watch

Europe opens doors to dangerous fracking

Europe is opening its doors to dirty and dangerous unconventional fossil fuels, Friends of the Earth Europe and Food & Water Europe said today. The warning comes as the European Commission publishes a framework to guide member states on how to regulate shale gas which fails to provide mandatory protection for Europe’s citizens against the environmental and health risks of fracking.

Despite the best efforts of some decision-makers, attempts to regulate the fracking industry have been undermined by heavy corporate lobbying and pressure from certain member states intent on fracking their lands. The proposal is now weak and will not stop the environment and communities being harmed, contradicting previous recommendations and studies made by the European Parliament and the European Commission [1].

Opposition to Chevron's plans to frack in the village of Pungeşti, Romania
Opposition to Chevron’s plans to frack in the village of Pungeşti, Romania

Antoine Simon, shale gas campaigner for Friends of the Earth Europe said: “Shale gas regulations have been fracked to pieces by corporations and fossil fuel-fixated governments. Insufficient and non-binding recommendations and monitoring mean fracking will go ahead improperly regulated and local communities will be the ones who suffer. Europe is putting the fox in charge of the hen house.”

Europe can expect to see a surge in local resistance, like that witnessed in the UK, Romania and Poland: more than 370 grassroots organisations from all around Europe published last week a letter expressing strong concern about the promises not kept by the EU institutions to put in place a regulatory framework that would guarantee a so-called safe and sustainable development of this industry in Europe.

Geert de Cock, policy officer for Food & Water Europe said: “The Commission proposals on unconventional fossil fuels fail to deliver the robust rules that the Commission’s own impact assessment, the Parliament, opinion polls and the International Energy Agency have called for. The lack of courage by EU leaders to stand up to industry pressure will galvanize our campaign for a complete ban on fracking.”

With the heavy support from José Manuel Barroso, the United Kingdom, Poland, and Romania have all played a leading role in undermining shale gas legislation, with allies Hungary, Lithuania, Czech Republic and Slovakia, according to a letter written by the UK Permanent Representation and obtained by Friends of the Earth.

Antoine Simon continued: “Past experience, every poll, study and resolution, pointed to the need for tough regulation. Instead, we’re repeating the social and environmental mistakes played out across America. The village of Pungeşti, Romania offers a grim example of the future of shale gas development in Europe – with communities themselves the last line of defence against dirty and dangerous fossil fuels.”

Next month, MEPs will make a final vote on changes to environmental and health safeguards applicable to all fossil fuels, in the form of a review of the Environmental Impact Assessment directive. Fracking remains exempt from mandatory impact assessments after being removed from the text by the European Council. Environmental impact assessments for shale gas projects will only be undertaken voluntarily by member states and some countries have already announced they would not make use of them.

Friends of the Earth Europe and Food & Water Europe campaign against the extraction of unconventional fossil fuels, including shale gas. The extraction of unconventional gas and oil poses a significant threat to the climate, the environment and to local communities. They will lock Europe into fossil fuel use, jeopardise emissions reduction targets and prevent investments in genuine solutions – like the development of community renewable energy resources, and energy savings projects.

Today the European Commission also unveils its plans to tackle climate change by the year 2030. The proposal disregards climate science and fails to set the ambitious binding targets necessary to avoid catastrophic levels of global warming.



[1] A series of European Parliament and Commission studies can be found at the links below: