Brussels – Today, UK energy firm Cuadrilla began its first fracking operation in Preston New Road, Lancashire. Despite ongoing protests, blockades, a permanent camp, and a 2015 vote of the county council rejecting fracking in Lancashire, the government allowed the fracking firm to go ahead.
The UK’s go ahead with fracking coincides with the Global Days of Action against Gas and Fracking – the Gasdown-Frackdown, taking place around 13 October. With a growing movement, groups across the planet take action demanding a fossil free future, standing with the people of Lancashire and fracking-affected communities around the world.
“Today’s first fracking operation in the UK in over seven years illustrates the UK government is heading in the completely wrong direction on climate change, while denying the rights of affected communities,” says Wenonah Hauter, Executive Director of Food & Water Europe and Food & Water Watch. “The effects of climate change are already here. This summer’s drought had devastating results on European crop yields and threatened to lead to a UK food supply crisis. Unnatural disasters are occurring around the globe. It is deeply cynical that amidst these events we still talk about fracking in a country completely unsuitable for any form of it. The rights and health of people in Lancashire cannot be sacrificed for corporate interests.”
This summer, Cuadrilla completed its second shale gas well, ironically at the same time as a hosepipe ban was announced for parts of England due to an ongoing water shortage. “Pumping millions of litres of water underground in order to extract gas seems completely out of touch with reality and thwarts efforts necessary to keep global temperatures below 1.5 – the aim of the Paris Climate Agreement – and measures necessary to keep our planet liveable,” says Frida Kieninger, Campaigns Officer at Food & Water Europe. “It is more than unsettling to see that after all the environmental, climate, social and economic issues we have seen linked to fracking, it still plays a significant role in Europe’s energy policy.”
Even in Europe where fracking has been banned or restricted in several states, these bans often do not exclude all forms of fracking and do not block fracked gas from entering the EU, shipped in small volumes at the moment in the form of Liquified Natural Gas (LNG).
There is a growing movement of NGOs, researchers and grassroots activists protesting against these developments. Around 13 October the Gasdown-Frackdown, the Global Action Days against fracking and gas take place, where actions across the planet show a movement against fracking and gas that does not accept another generation of fossil fuel dependency.
Contact: Frida Kieninger, Food & Water Europe, email: [email protected], tel.: +32 487 24 99 05