NUIG’s Centre for Human Rights urge Government to push for a global ban on fracking at UN
The Centre for Human Rights at the National University of Ireland, Galway has issued a report entitled International Human Rights Impacts of Fracking Report in which they strongly urge the Government to use their position in the United Nations to call for a global ban on fracking.
Ireland became the fourth EU country to ban fracking back in July 2017. Fracking is a process of extracting gas by drilling into shale rock and injecting pressurized water, sand and various chemicals to force out the gas. According to the report, fracking poses severe risks to the environment and to human health as it can cause water contamination, air pollution, earthquakes and radioactive contamination. This, combined with its contribution to greenhouse gas emissions and climate change, fracking poses severe risks to human rights. The report, therefore, argues that fracking is incompatible with countries’ legal obligations to protect, respect and fulfil basic human rights including the right to life, health, water and a healthy environment.
One of the authors of the report, Bridget Geoghegan, warns that fracking is an “inherently harmful extract process that has global impacts no matter where it is conducted”. Therefore, she calls upon the Government to push for a global ban on fracking at the United Nations. The authors have drafted the wording for a resolution and sent it to the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Simon Coveney, to consider.
The process of fracking is still a concern on the island of Ireland as fracking has yet to be banned in Northern Ireland. Fermanagh, in particular, is a hotspot for fracking as it has large deposits of shale rock. Moreover, the Republic of Ireland is still importing fracked gas from other countries which is harmful because it indirectly promotes the fracking process.
However, last week, the Minister for the Environment, Eamon Ryan, released a policy statement outlining a moratorium on the development of fracked gas importation pending the findings of a state review on the security of energy supplies.
To read NUIG’s Centre for Human Rights report on fracking, click here.