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Human Rights and the Business of Fracking

Type:   Research publications
Topic:   Human rights
Date submitted:   24/08/2015
Member:   Walquiria Felizardo


Human Rights and the Business of Fracking: Applying the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights to Hydraulic Fracturing

© The Center for Human Rights and Environment 

CONSULTATION DRAFT: AUGUST 20, 2015

Our society is on a vertiginous race to maximize the exploitation of natural resources to feed our thirst for material wealth. We are extracting natural resources at unabated rates, without considering many of the permanent and irreversible social and environmental consequences of our actions. One of these contentious races is the desire by many to meet our energy consumption needs through the exploration of new ways to continue extracting and consuming fossil fuels. The principal industrial process proposed for this expansion is a controversial method called hydraulic fracturing, now known to most simply as fracking, a process by which we inject large volumes of water and chemicals into the ground to force fossil fuels out of the geology. Fracking brings with it many environmental concerns, including huge increases in water usage, as well as the generation of voluminous quantities of contaminated effluent. Fracking has been proven to cause severe air, land and water contamination and is today one of the driving forces of climate change. 

This publication, published by the Center for Human Rights and Environment (CHRE), prepared after extensive research, with valuable contributions from outside experts and targeting a general public that is not necessarily expert in energy issues, but is eager to learn more about the fracking debate, explains in laymen’s terms, what fracking is, how it works, and what are the risks of hydraulic fracturing to the environment and to our very basic human condition. It is a tool to understand how fracking affects our daily lives and how it can have dire consequences on our right to health, our right to water, our right to property, our right to development and progress, and most importantly our right to a healthy environment, and to the very basic and universal right to life. It is the hope of the Center for Human Rights and Environment, that this publication will help shed light on future discussions over fracking, so that as a global society we can be more responsible, so that we can transcend ideological positions, and reach the social consensus that we need to forge a more sustainable way forward on this very vulnerable planetary environment that we call home. 

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