Center for Biological Diversity

Media Advisory, December 7, 2015

Contacts:   Patrick Sullivan, (415) 517-9364, (Oakland)
Kassie Siegel, +1 951 961 7972, (Paris)

Paris Panels to Explore International Movement to Ban Fracking

Dec. 9 'Keep It in the Ground' Events Feature Bill McKibben,
Other Speakers From South America, Europe, United States

PARIS— Two panel discussions at the Paris climate conference on Wednesday will explore the growing global movement to ban fracking and other extreme fossil fuel extraction.

Featuring climate activist Bill McKibben and other experts, activists and legislators from South America, Europe and the United States, the two events — titled “Keeping Fossil Fuels in the Ground: The International Movement to Ban Fracking” are cosponsored by the Center for Biological Diversity, Food & Water Watch, Mercy International Association, Franciscans International and the Society of Catholic Medical Missionaries.

The panels will discuss the progress of the movement to keep fossil fuels in the ground, explore the growing success of this largely grassroots effort, and examine the essential role of such movements in building the political momentum to achieve real progress in the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change negotiations.

What: Two panel discussions featuring experts on the movement to ban fracking and other extreme fossil fuel extraction around the world.

Who: Kassie Siegel of the Center for Biological Diversity’s Climate Law Institute;
Bill McKibben,, cofounder and senior advisor; Sandra Steingraber, Ph.D., EcoWatch; Joaquin Turco, climate change negotiator, Argentine Workers' Central Union - Autonomous (CTA-A); Liesbeth van Tongeren, vice-president of the Green Left (GroenLinks) group in the House of Representatives of the Dutch Parliament; Wenonah Hauter, executive director, Food & Water Watch; John Fenton, a farmer from Pavillion,Wyo.,, living with air and water pollution from the gas industry.

When and Where (the panel meets twice):
Wednesday, Dec. 9, 11:30 a.m.–1 p.m. in the COP21 Conference Center, Observer Room 01.
Wednesday, Dec. 9, 1:15–2:45 the Climate Generations Area, Salle 5

Admission: COP 21 badge required for 11:30 a.m. panel

To avoid climate change’s worst dangers, about 80 percent of proven fossil fuel reserves must stay in the ground. Yet fracking and other extreme extraction methods are spreading around the world, opening up vast new deposits of fossil fuels.

Fracking causes air and water pollution and inflicts serious health problems on communities living near fracked wells. Fracking also releases large amounts of methane, a dangerously potent greenhouse gas. Fracked shale gas wells, for example, may have methane leakage rates as high as 7.9 percent, which would make such natural gas worse for the climate than coal.

Halting the expansion of fossil fuel development and achieving full decarbonization and 100 percent renewable energy by 2050 is a key part of securing an international climate agreement and solving the climate crisis. Ending new fossil fuel leasing on lands and offshore areas controlled by the U.S. government, for example, would keep up to 450 billion tons of greenhouse gases from polluting the atmosphere, according to a recent analysis by EcoShift on behalf of the Center for Biological Diversity and Friends of the Earth.

The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 900,000 members and online activists dedicated to the protection of the Earth's biodiversity.

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