In May 2018, the Spring Creek Project co-organized the Permanent Peoples’ Tribunal Session on Human Rights, Fracking, and Climate Change.
For the first time in the almost 40 year history of the Tribunal, they had an international focus on the rights of Nature as well as the rights of humans. As the Tribunal was underway, the Spring Creek Project shared courageous stories from those on the front lines of fracking as well as expert opinions on fracking’s profound damages to our environment and communities around the world.
Now, after careful deliberation and reviewing evidence and witness testimony, the international Permanent Peoples’ Tribunal has issued its Advisory Opinion.
The Tribunal unequivocally confirms that fracking violates human rights.
The rights violated include the rights to life, to water, to health, and to full information and participation. The court ruled, through affirmative policies and failure to regulate, governments are complicit in the rights-violations, creating what the court calls a global “axis of betrayal.”
Thus, to protect human rights, the court has ruled that the practice of fracking should be banned worldwide.
This opinion has the potential to be a game-changer. The Permanent Peoples’ Tribunal is the same international court that tried the U.S. for war crimes in Vietnam, Union Carbide for widespread death after the Bhopal explosions, and many other cases, including Chernobyl. Their decision now places the activities of major fossil-fuel corporations in the same category of practices that routinely (and often brutally) violate human rights. Their moral authority is strong, with the potential to shift, or at least complicate, how people see oil and gas industries, from business-as-usual to global rights abusers. Framing the abuses of the fracking industry as a human-rights issue is a transformative and powerful new tool in the struggle to impose legal and moral constraints. But to have any effect, news of the Tribunal’s opinion needs to spread far and wide, to policymakers, community leaders and members, fellow activists, and the public.
If you’d like to learn more about the Advisory Opinion, write about this historic decision, or share the news with friends, colleagues, and environmental groups, the Spring Cree Project has compiled some resources.
This online folder contains:
- A 1-page summary of the Opinion
- An 8-page overview of the Opinion’s key findings
- A press release about the Opinion
- The full text of the Advisory Opinion
In addition, the Bedrock Lectures they shared leading up to the Tribunal and video recordings of the Session’s witness testimonies are all still available on their YouTube channel.