A group of environmental activists, public health professionals and campaigners are fighting fracking, climate change, petrochemicals and plastic pollution.
Activists from Mexico, Ireland and and Germany joined frontline residents and campaigners from Pennsylvania and New York in a meeting with Satya Tripathi, UN Assistant Secretary-General and Head of New York Office at UN Environment.
The group met with the United Nations to discuss the harms and threats of gas drilling and petrochemical expansion in their communities. They argued that we must stop further extraction to combat the global climate crisis.
The meeting was the result of an open letter sent to the United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres last September.
That letter was organized by Food & Water Action, its European arm Food & Water Europe and the Breathe Project in Pittsburgh. It was signed by nearly 460 grassroots groups, faith communities, celebrities, activists and organizations, including actors Mark Ruffalo, Emma Thompson and Amber Heard, authors and activists Naomi Klein, Bill McKibben, fashion icon Vivienne Westwood and her son Joe Corré as well as iconic children’s singer Raffi.
The group stated that the “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.”
Campaigners appealed to the United Nations to consider the critical findings it has issued over the years. The Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (CESR) and the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) have expressed concern that fracking will make it all but impossible to achieve emissions reductions targets outlined by the Paris Agreement, as well as the impacts of fossil fuel drilling on human rights.
The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) issued a “Global Alert” on fracking in 2012, and concluded that it may have adverse environmental impacts under any circumstances.