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Global ban on fracking supported by Cardiff environmental scholar

10 December 2021

The outcomes of an international tribunal, instigated by a Cardiff Law academic, have led to a call for the UN to support a global ban on fracking.

Professor of Law, Anna Grear was co-initiator of the world’s first Special Session on Human Rights, Fracking and Climate Change at the highly respected international human rights court, the Permanent Peoples’ Tribunal (PPT) in 2018.

Fracking is the drilling technology used to extract energy from deep underground and 2018’s PPT tribunal hearing was the first in its history to ever assess fracking from a human rights perspective and to look at climate change through a human rights lens. Professor Grear’s research and the team’s evidence gathering claimed that fracking is an infringement of the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

In a monumental ruling, the tribunal agreed and found that fracking and climate change violate human rights by affecting the right to health, the right to clean water, the rights of indigenous people, and the right to information and participation.

Watch a video which explores how fracking and climate change violate human rights

Now, based on the tribunal’s findings, an international coalition has come together to call for the UN to support a global ban on fracking. The coalition is backed by over 760 international environmental organisations, grassroots groups, impacted communities, thought leaders that include Bill McKibben and celebrities, including Mark Ruffalo and Jane Fonda, all of whom recognise the harms of fracking and its incompatibility with climate stability, public health and human rights and the rights of nature. As a result of her role in initiating the PPT hearing, Professor Grear has been approached to support this international initiative with her PPT co-initiator, Professor Tom Kerns, director of the Environment and Human Rights Advisory in Oregon, USA.

Professor Grear, who teaches on Human Rights and Global Justice programmes at the School of Law and Politics was recently cited in articles for Orion magazine, published during COP26, which explored the findings of the tribunal and what can happen next.

Speaking of the building momentum, Professor Grear said, "It’s really exciting to see how the Advisory Opinion of the PPT has been taken up by so many affected communities, and by environmental groups and activists all over the world. I am in awe of the way that those behind the initiative have taken this forward and am delighted to support it in any way that I can. I support the draft UN resolution letter currently being written by environmental campaigner Andy Gheorghiu and urge anyone else keen to support this cause to get in touch with him. What began in a Cardiff pub over a cup of coffee and a conversation is now lighting a fire for justice across the world.”

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