Webinar will provide update on proposed law to ban fracking in Colombia in accordance with the Paris agreement

Published by Brent Patterson on

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To hear the latest on the proposed law to ban fracking in Colombia, join this webinar on April 29. Photo by Wesley Tomaselli.

On August 10, 2020, Semana Sostenible reported: “Environmentalists and congressmen came together today to present a bill banning the exploration and exploitation of non-conventional deposits of hydrocarbons in the Colombian territory with fracking, a technique that the national government has been insisting on.”

At the time, the Alliance for a Colombia Free of Fracking said one of the main reasons behind the bill was to fulfill the goals of the Paris Agreement. They referred to Law 1844 that the Congress approved on July 14, 2017 that ratified Colombia’s accession to the Paris Agreement that seeks to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

The proposed bill has the support of 41 members of Congress from eight political parties and several organizations including the Alliance and CRY-GEAM.

This past January, David Boyd, the UN Special Rapporteur on human rights and the environment, expressed his support for the bill at a Congressional public hearing.

Boyd stated: “In light of its obligations under constitutional, international, human rights and environmental law, fossil fuels must be replaced by renewable energies. I respectfully maintain that the government of Colombia must pass a law to prohibit fracking.”

Boyd also reminded Congress that Colombia is party to the Paris Agreement.

Despite this, the National Hydrocarbons Agency (ANH) has awarded two contracts for fracking pilot projects near Puerto Wilches, Santander.

One of those contracts went to ExxonMobil.

Today, The Guardian reported on a new study that suggests that the “lucrative pay and share options have created an incentive for oil company executives to resist climate action.” That article reports that the salary of the CEO of ExxonMobil in 2018 was $18.8 million.

The Guardian has also reported: “The largest five stock market listed oil and gas companies spend nearly $200m (£153m) a year lobbying to delay, control or block policies to tackle climate change, according to a new report.” That article includes a chart showing ExxonMobil spending more than $40 million on this.

It’s not clear what role, if any, ExxonMobil has taken with respect to the law to ban fracking in Colombia. It’s fair to assume though that it does not support the legislation given its $53 million investment in its Platero fracking pilot project.

For an update from Colombian environmental defenders on the bill that would ban fracking, the ExxonMobil fracking pilot project and more, please join our bilingual (in English and Spanish) webinar on Thursday April 29. To register for that, click here.

Webinar panel: Colombian environmental defenders Ivan Madero, Yuli Velasquez, Oscar Sampayo, Yuvelis Natalia Morales, plus Karen Hamilton (Above Ground), Luis van Isschot (Peace Brigades International-Canada).

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