September 20, 2016

Latin American parliamentarians launch the Latin American Coalition Against Fracking

MONTEVIDEO, URUGUAY — Representatives of the Latin American Parliament, church leaders and civil society, launched this Monday the Latin American Coalition Against Fracking for Water, Climate and Sustainable Agriculture, marking  the beginning of a common agenda for the prohibition of the unconventional method of shale gas exploration by hydraulic fracturing – fracking – across the continent.  

The Coalition is an initiative that will expand the efforts of COESUS – Coalition No Fracking Brazil for Climate, Water and Life across the region. The launch took place during an event titled “The Dangers of Fracking in Latin America”, organized by 350.org together with the Uruguayan Parliament the Legislative Palace in the Uruguayan capital as part of the parallel program of the Euro-Latin-American Assembly (Eurolat).

Participants exchanged experiences in the fight against fracking in Latin American countries such as Argentina, Uruguay and Brazil, and decided the formation of a broad front to build joint strategies for the protection of water, soil and agriculture across Latin America.

The fracking ban in the continent will ensure the preservation of the Guarani Aquifer, the main underground freshwater reserve in South America and one of the world’s largest aquifer systems, which supplies about 55 million people in the four countries it encompasses – Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay.

In Uruguay, five provinces have already approved legislations to ban fracking, with other proposals already in progress. The province of Entre Ríos, in Argentina, has also approved the ban. Brazil already accounts more than 100 fracking-free cities, a direct result of COESUS actions through the No Fracking Brazil campaign.

In addition to causing health problems, polluting soil, water and air, and directly impacting the agriculture, fracking also intensifies climate change, since it systematically releases methane, one of the gases causing the greenhouse effect, 25 times more polluting than carbon dioxide (CO2).

Countries where the method is already used, such as Argentina and the United States, have experienced enormous environmental, social and economic losses. Others, like Germany, Scotland and France, have definitely banned the technique. Areas for fracking exploration are already mapped in Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Venezuela, Paraguay, Uruguay, Argentina, Brazil and Mexico – with the last three countries holding the largest shale gas reserves on the continent.

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Quote sheet:

“The real wealth of Latin America is the not oil nor the gas, but the water and soil which enable the maintenance of life and remains the main form of subsistence of many communities. Prosperous peoples are the ones who can develop in harmony with the ecosystems they live in. it is proven that no prosperity is possible where nature is destroyed.” – Carol Aviaga, Senator of Uruguay Republic.

“If society and governments do not mobilize to stop the entry of this activity in their respective countries, not only the local communities will suffer the impacts, but also the rest of the world. Fracking goes against the global movement that is fighting climate change and pushing for a low carbon economy, with sustainable, renewable and socially-just energy sources. At a time when the planet is experiencing severe impacts as a result of the increasing temperatures of the Earth, building joint strategies to combat fossil fuels is a priority.”Nicole Figueiredo de Oliveira, 350.org Brazil and Latin America Team Leader.

“Many of the countries threatened by fracking base their economies on agriculture, so it is essential to ensure that Latin American agricultural production stays free from contamination. Banning fracking across the continent will not only protect the health of humans, animals and the environment, but also ensure competitiveness of the countries’ products in the international market, preventing the import restrictions countries are already placing on food that comes from areas with shale-gas exploration.” – Juliano Bueno de Araújo, 350.org Climate Campaigner and founder of COESUS.

For more information about the event visit: http://www.peligrosdelfracking.org/

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