International Anti-Fracking Action 21F

On Friday, February 21, we’ll join forces with other Barcelona and international movements, to denounce the extractive model to which the Global South is subjected in order to meet the energy needs of the countries of the North.

Just one month ago the first ship with gas extracted using fracking technology arrived in Barcelona from Argentina. This gas was extracted from the “Vaca Muerta” shale deposit, the second largest in the world (larger than Denmark in extension). We denounce this event as representative of the unfair model that globally subjects the communities of the Global South to the needs of the economic elites. We, the local node of Extinction Rebellion in Barcelona, decided to join the international call in solidarity with the original Argentine communities and North American groups.

This action is organized in Barcelona by Fridays for Future, el Observatori del Deute de la Globalizació, EntrePobles, Ecologistes en Acció, Catalunya No als Tractats de Comerç i Inversió, Gastivists, and Extinction Rebellion Barcelona, and with it we want call out the link between fossil fuel extraction in Latin American countries with the European states that consume it. It must be emphasized that fracking has been banned in some European countries, in particular France, Germany, Holland, Bulgaria and Ireland, as well as by governments such as Catalonia and Scotland. Furthermore, the companies that generate this type of extraction have their origin in the Global North (the Spanish Repsol, the French Total, the Dutch Shell or the German Wintershall).

Bandurria Suris a 220 km2 location in the extraction area of non-conventional oil of Vaca Muerta
Bandurria Suris: a 220 km2 area for the extraction of non-conventional gas located in Vaca Muerta

The UN has also issued a recommendation, asking Argentina to “leave underground” the liquefied natural gas (LNG) that is extracted from the Vaca Muerta deposit, since its exploitation alone will consume more than 11% of the total carbon budget that the planet has left. Additionally methane leakages may have an effect eighty times more harmful than CO2 emissions. Fracking has been responsible for more than 50% of the increase in all world methane emissions from fossil fuels over the past decade, and more than a third of the increase in all methane emissions in the world, if all the combined effects are taken into account.

The fracking technique doesn’t only exploit the land and mineral resources, but negatively affects the entire area (through waste of water and contamination of agricultural land) and the communities that live in there (effects on human and animal health, causing cancer, leukemia, fetal malformations and other diseases).

The use of gas extracted by fracking is, therefore, a clear case of climate injustice, by demonstrating the extractive dynamics between the Global North and South. In addition, we also denounce that it represents an unprecedented climate and ecological scam, as this gas is frequently presented as part of the “ecological transition” solution because it is a “source of clean energy”. To continue feeding the standard of living of the North, the communities of the South are targets of a continuous violation of human rights, forced displacement, persecution and murder of activists, and devastation of the lands, turning them into a zone of sacrifice for the benefit of countries rich

Mapuche community demonstrating in 2015
Mapuche community demonstrating in 2015

From XR we refuse to continue tolerating this hypocritical and toxic system that announces climate emergencies in Europe while continuing to invest in fossil infrastructures worldwide. We rebel because it is necessary; We rebel because it is the only just option!

More information about Friday’s actions

Spain: is the main importer of liquefied natural gas (LNG), with 25% of the total. This LNG comes increasingly from fracking and less from conventional sources, as result of the “shale revolution” advances. It is radically transforming the world energy map, and having made the United States of America the largest exporter of oil and gas in the world, which by 2035 is forecasted to provide more than 50% of the world’s gas. Spain is the main European destination of all exports of North American fracking LNG, and is building even more terminals to continue expanding LNG imports. Trump has explicitly said that the United States seeks, through fracking, the “world domination of energy.”

Argentina: Vaca Muerta lies under various Argentine provinces, which will all mobilize simultaneously for the first time in this action. The mobilizations will focus on this occasion in the consulates of Spain to exert pressure on the consumption and exploitation part. Buenos Aires, the national capital, will accompany the action by calling citizens in front of the Embassy of Spain, in the city where all the national media are concentrated and in which the most powerful impact can be generated at the media level. A letter will be delivered to the consul / ambassador, depending on the place, also reading it in public and transmitting all the actions through social media.

United States: The State of Texas is “the fracking capital of the world” and the birthplace of this technique. The indigenous populations of the area are being destroyed, and are currently offering resistance to the construction of an LNG export terminal for fracking their territory, which will be shipped to Europe and Spain. They will also participate in the action, and major environmental organizations will also participate to amplify the media impact of the action in the United States.

Barcelona: Catalonia has banned fracking and has made strong environmental commitments, including the declaration of climate emergency. The Spanish state, as well as the Barcelona City Council, have also declared a state of climate emergency. These commitments are at odds with the fact that the port of Barcelona is used to import a gas which production is one of the main causes of global warming and represents part of 21st century Spanish and European colonialism. Various Argentinian groups will gather with climate movements and other groups, and will hold a demonstration at the port of Barcelona at 4:30 in the afternoon, and a march to the Argentinian consulate. We need you to join in the street!

There will be a press conference with representatives from each movement and other places, which will come to Barcelona to participate in the action: confirmed Grian Cutanda (co-founder of XR Spain), Pawel Wargan (co-author of the Green New Deal) and Esteban Servat (exiled in Germany of the fight against fracking in Argentina and founder of EcoLeaks). A demonstration will be held in front of the port, and then march to the Argentine consulate, a letter will be delivered to the consul. The action, which on the part of the consumption will have its focal point in Barcelona, could be the starting point to raise awareness and mobilize the rest of Europe about this serious problem which will be key in the future of the environmental struggle, establishing the basis for a North-South fighting united that allows addressing this global threat, and establishing bridges to grow a united international struggle.

Ireland: The activists will meet in front of the Argentinian embassy at 1:00 pm and will march towards the United States embassy, in front of which they will enact a performance to demonstrate the need to stop fracking practices.

Banner: International Action Against Fracking