Fracking is a human rights violation: Report

Published: April 09, 2019

A tribunal of international legal experts has delivered a scathing report on fracking, arguing the unconventional gas and oil drilling method is a human rights violation.

The Permanent Peoples’ Tribunal has handed down its final report on its Session on Human Rights, Fracking and Climate Change, calling for a worldwide ban on fracking, and encouraging support for people’s movements against the controversial drilling technique.

The report makes several recommendations for local, state, national and UN action, including that nations recognise the rights of nature in a similar way to human rights to help address the existential threat of climate change.

It also calls for the UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights and the Environment to be asked to investigate the violations of the rights of humans and nature by the unconventional oil and gas extraction (UOGE) industry.

Convenor of the Australian tribunal sessions and impacted Chinchilla resident, Shay Dougall said she planned to use the document to pressure the Queensland and Federal governments.

“The Queensland Government has just recklessly approved the Arrow energy CSG expansion on the Western Downs, despite what we know about the unconventional gas industry,” she said.

“We know CSG on the Western Downs has dewatered farmers’ bores, it’s led to a massive decline in agriculture, and has not supplied anywhere near the number of permanent jobs first touted by the industry.

“There are also ongoing concerns about health impacts on people who are forced to live near this invasive, polluting industry.

“As well, the gas industry is a major source of greenhouse gas emissions due to the production and transport processes, and due to gas leaks from wells and pipelines.”

The report also specifically notes the disappointing decision by the NT and WA Labor Governments to reverse their moratoria on fracking:

“Of course, a State moratorium can be reversed, as recently happened in the economically beleaguered former mining colossus, Western Australia, and in the Northern Territory of Australia desperately seeking “economic development”, not heeding the experience of other jurisdictions where a “black gold rush” turned community life into a nightmare”.

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