The European Water Movement has signed with other organizations the letter below.
Dear Head of State/Ministers/Parliamentarians/Councillor,
In many ways, hydraulic fracturing (fracking) looms as the environmental issue of our time. It touches every aspect of our lives—the water we drink, the air we breathe and the health of our communities—as it ominously threatens our global climate.
More than a decade of large-scale use of the fracking technique (mainly in the U.S. and Canada) has shown how harmful and destructive this extraction process can be, as confirmed and acknowledged by countless peer-reviewed scientific studies.
The fracking industry itself consumes space and water on a large scale. Through the construction of a network of thousands of wells, it has a significant impact on the development of the targeted regions and inevitably affects areas where either settlements or environmentally and culturally sensitive zones can be found.
On a global scale, fugitive methane emissions from gas pose a very significant but mainly ignored problem. On average, slightly less than 4% of the lifetime production of gas wells is emitted to the atmosphere, including both leaking and venting at the well site and during storage and delivery to consumers. For fracked gas, information is more uncertain, but emissions are likely three-fold greater.
Since methane is at least 86 times more powerful a greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide over a 20-year period, opting for business as usual or even more fracking simply means that it won’t be possible to hold the increase in the global average temperature to well below the 2°C threshold agreed to in Paris, and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C, which is necessary in our view to avert the worst impacts of climate change.
These crucial commitments do not leave much room for improvisation as there is little time before these thresholds are reached: We already reached the 1.1°C point in 2016, and the 1.5°C point will be reached in less than 10 years with current emissions.
That’s why we — as part of a united and consistently growing global community — demand the following:
- An immediate ban without any exemptions of all types of fracking with regard to the research, exploration and exploitation of fossil energy sources. This ban should apply whether or not the fracturing occurs with or without chemicals, hydraulically or in other ways.
- A general import and trade ban on “fracked” fossil energy sources.
- A general ban on the injection of the flowback or the underground disposal of fluids and waste water from the extraction of hydrocarbons.
- Immediate and considerable efforts for a just transition to 100% renewable energy and a significant boost for energy efficiency measures.
The near future demands it; the time is right and the time is now!