December 11, 2015
Mark Schlosberg, Food & Water Watch
While the official COP21 continued yesterday in Paris finalizing details of what promises to be a woefully insufficient agreement to address the climate crisis, 150 frontline community members and organizational leaders convened a one-day summit to share information, learn and strategize around how to grow the movement to ban fracking everywhere. The conference, titled “Not Here, Not Anywhere,” was energizing, positive and engaging. It further united the global anti-fracking movement around the call for a ban.
Summits like these always feature many highlights and never enough time, and that was certainly the case for “Not Here, Not Anywhere.” But, here are some nuggets: People on the front lines fighting against fracking from across the world shared stories about how fracking affects their communities and the campaigns they’re waging to to protect themselves; Bob Howarth and Kevin Anderson gave a scientific presentation on natural gas and climate change; and Sandra Steingraber and John Fenton concluded the summit with inspiring concluding speeches about the successful campaign to ban on fracking in New York and the growth of our increasingly powerful movement inspired by the courageous truth- tellers on the front lines around the world.
Most significantly, the meeting provided plenty of time for conversation and sharing among activists from across the world to help figure out how we can support each other’s struggles. One thing that came through was the desire for more communication and sharing of experiences and resources and a unified agreement that fracking is not something that can be safely regulated – it must be banned altogether. We agreed that we must act quickly to keep fossil fuels in the ground and transition to a 100% renewable energy future.
The day concluded with a group photo and a resounding chant: “Together we’re unstoppable, a worldwide ban is possible.” And it is possible, if we continue to organize, make strong and visionary demands and hold our governmental leaders accountable as we continue to work to repair our broken planet and democracy.
The conference was sponsored by Friends of the Earth Europe, ATTAC France, Stop the Frack Attack, Food & Water Watch and Earthworks.
See all the pictures from Paris here.