Sunday, January 19, 2014

Petizione europea contro il fracking

Dalla mia amica Francoise Lienhard di Francia mi arriva la richiesta di firmare una petizione europea contro il fracking.

La lettera e' da essere firmata non da individui ma da gruppi ed associazioni. Le associazioni non e' necessario che abbiamo statuti, presidenti, etc etc, basta che siano gruppi di persone attive contro le trivelle e per l'ambiente. Anche nomi di gruppi facebook che sono attivi sono benvenuti.

Questo e' il testo e i gruppi firmatari finora - sono quasi 300.


Per l'Italia sono solo in tre finora.

Qui le varie traduzioni (in Italiano non c'e'). Se qualcuno volesse tradurla, sarebbe il benvenuto.

Per chi la volesse sottoscrivere, basta aggiungersi nei commenti o mandarmi un email.

Siamo tutti volontari e Dio solo sa quanto tempo tutto questo porta via. Per evitare la prossima volta di dover rifare tutta questa trafila, sarebbe utile decidere che Francoise puo' usare i nominativi che le arrivano dai vari gruppi anche per le prossime petizioni, che certo non mancheranno.

Il testo in Inglese e' qui sotto e si puo' scaricare qui.

Grazie a tutti per il tempo.


Europe, January 16, 2014

For the attention of: José Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission, Commissioners


To European Council Members and national heads of state (Presidents, Prime Ministers & Ministers concerned);

To Members of the European Parliament.

Subject: Unconventional fossil fuels / Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA)

Directive & other projects from the European Institutions

We, groups of concerned citizens and environmental organisations, mobilised against the development in Europe of unconventional fossil fuels (UFFs), are extremely worried about the recent developments regarding review of the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Directive, plans for a European UFF framework and also about transatlantic agreements and projects of the European Commission.

To extract shale gas, shale oil, tight gas and coal - bed methane a technique called hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” is being used. This goes along with multiple and unavoidable impacts on the environment, on climate, on people’s health and on a number of fundamental freedoms and human

The main reasons why we oppose this industry are:

The extraction of these hydrocarbons will worsen our GHG-footprint and will divert or even  jeopardize European energy and climate objectives. Instead of moving away from fossil fuel energy sources, developing more sources of renewable energy, and improving energy-efficiency policies, this industry would lock us into another dirty fossil fuel cycle;

This extraction industry requires a massive system of pipelines, pressure stations and transportation hubs in order to operate. This inevitably leads to methane leaks, with different reports suggesting leakage of between 4% and 11% of the total methane volume produced. As a greenhouse gas, methane is 86 times more potent than CO2 on a 20-year timescale, which makes UFF production potentially even more damaging for climate than coal itself.

The extraction techniques impact ecosystems and local environments in a destructive and irrevocable manner;

These extraction projects take up a disproportionate amount of essential primary resources: land, water and air;

As the industry requires a vast number of vehicles for transportation purposes, these projects also carry secondary burdens to the EU economy such as public infrastructure depreciation on roads, bridges, etc. Most public roads in the EU are not designed to carry the added weight of the “super trucks” or “road-trains” that the industry uses, especially in rural areas.

A significant number of inhabitants would be directly affected by this type of exploitation, including those who survive exclusively by farming their land. Extraction would lead to an increase in poverty;

Political promotion of these activities completely contradicts the growing need for local economic systems based on natural and cultural heritages and renewable energies; UFF activities correspond to large-scale industrialisation – they have massive impacts on regional planning and affect a wide range of densely populated areas and environmentally sensitive zones, as observed in the USA, Canada, and Australia.

The European authorities have already published studies demonstrating these risks. They are aware of the numerous scientific and peer-reviewed studies warning about the multiple and worrying impacts attached to this industry. However, it seems that policymakers appear of a mind to ignore all these significant facts. Further to this, even the opinions of directly affected populations are being brutally ignored.

The current legal situation in the EU does not guarantee a mandatory EIA for the exploration and extraction of UFFs throughout Europe, and represents a permanent violation of European environmental policy principles, of regional planning goals and of fundamental European democratic values. This essential requirement would have necessitated baseline studies before the commencement of new projects and would have guaranteed better inclusion of local communities in the decision-making process.

The UFF framework that will be announced by the European Commission is just a set of non-binding recommendations that goes against the results of its own impact assessment requiring legislative actions. Thanks to the joint action of Mr. Barroso and countries such as the UK, Poland, Romania, Czech Republic and Hungary, the EU are opening the doors to a poorly regulated and heavily polluting industry. The promises made to “develop an EU framework for safe and secure unconventional hydrocarbon extraction” will not be kept.

The above arguments, backed up by evidence, have been expressed on many occasions by groups of concerned citizens and environmental organisations, particularly with regard to the Korbach Resolution.

It appears that our politicians do not wish or are not prepared to take these arguments into consideration. This is a serious denial of democracy and a clear sign that the balance is tipping in favour of uncertain short-term and environmentally damaging financial gain, at the cost of long-term public health and sustainable environment. In addition, we have noted that there is some corruption at local level.

Local communities have been plunged into distress and insecurity, with violations of human rights and repression, as recently in Pungesti (Romania), Zurawlow (Poland) and Barton Moss (Great Britain); and trust in the European Union is vanishing fast.

This state of affairs needs to be taken into consideration as part of the review of the EIA Directive, and also in the negotiations on CETA and TAFTA, as these agreements are being negotiated in absolute secrecy. This cannot be tolerated by the EU Parliament, EU Council and EU Commission.

The Commission announced a “non-binding framework” on shale gas. What will be the flexibility when taking into account the huge pressure from investors and the energy industry? Regarding CETA and TAFTA, it is becoming increasingly evident that REACH is in their sights. However, this regulation is the tool that prevents industries from doing just about anything, especially in the chemical sector, which makes products for the mining industry. We also note that the arbitration rules between firms and states, encouraged by the Energy Charter Treaty, is one that is best suited to the investors. Investors may challenge environmental legislation purely on the basis that it represents an obstacle to their investments and thus their profits. This may result in:

Payment of considerable financial compensation to companies, which is then taken from individual member state budgets;

A free- trade system that takes its lead from the Energy Charter Treaty, and completely favours the private sector and investors over public interest and member state sovereignty;

For all the reasons detailed above, we solemnly call upon the members of the European Council, the Commissioners and the Members of the European Parliament to take action now, in the best interests of their member state populations and all EU citizens. Denying the facts previously described would mean that European policymakers are ready to accept the harmful effects of fracking for the immediate future and for future generations.

Members of the European Parliament, you must act decisively and with clarity so that the law is unambiguous. This Environmental Impact Assessment is required for the life cycle of the well and should come into force prior to any exploration or construction activity (pad construction, drilling, cementing, casing, wire line logging, etc.).

Considering its numerous impacts, the use of fracking techniques for the exploration and exploitation of fossil fuel energy sources should be subject to a mandatory Environmental Impact Assessment.

Members of the European Council, Mr. President of the European Commission, and Commissioners,
national Heads of States and Ministers concerned, you should definitely act for the removal of an ISDS (Investor State - Dispute- Settlement) within CETA/TAFTA because it torpedoes our judicial systems and it can be used to attack the already political enacted environmental policy objectives, climate change and energy targets, consumer protection and legal principles of the European Union, and the exception on the REACH regulation which, if anything, should even be strengthened.

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