Fracking ban efforts ramp up at local and global level

THE FIGHT against fracking in Fermanagh is still in full swing, with one local MLA following in her predecessor’s footsteps in attempting to outlaw fracking in the North at the same time as local campaign groups join the quest for a global ban.
Aine Murphy MLA, who was co-opted to the Assembly following the retirement of Sean Lynch earlier this summer, has announced she will be introducing a Private Members Bill calling for an outright fracking ban in the coming weeks. Mr Lynch, who initially proposed the bill, had previous garnered much public support for it when he opened it to consultation.
“The case against fracking is overwhelming, as more and more evidence emerges of the effects fracking has on nearby communities,” said Ms Murphy. “We must put people’s health ahead of profits. We must protect our environment and future generations by banning fracking once and for all.”
Ms Murphy she was “delighted” to be taking over work on the legislation first proposed by Mr Lynch, and planned to introduce the bill to the Assembly “early in the autumn.”
“The Bill, if passed, will introduce a legislative ban on the issuing of licences to companies that intend on exploring for, or extracting, fossil fuels by way of fracking,” she continued. “It will also bring the North into line with the rest of the island and many countries around the world that have taken a stand on this issue.”
Meanwhile, local groups such as Belcoo Frack Free and Love Leitrim, have joined an international coalition that is attempting to take things even further.
Hundreds of scientists, activists, local community groups, and celebrities such as Jane Fonda and Mark Ruffalo have joined forces in calling for the Irish Government to petition the United Nations (UN) to introduce a global ban on fracking.
In a letter published earlier this summer, which was signed by 730 international groups and organisations including those from Fermanagh, the coalition calls for “a global ban on fracking being proposed by Ireland at the United Nations Assembly on climate mitigation, public health, environmental protection, and human rights grounds.”
In an eight-page explanatory note, the coalition explains that while Ireland has yet to make such a proposal to the UN, it had chosen the country to lead the charge for a global ban as Ireland had “demonstrated a committed stance and leadership on fracking.”
The note also explains that a ban on fracking would align to the UN’s prioritisation of human rights and climate change action.

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