Frack no more

European tour with anti-fracking activists from Argentina to Brussels, Geneva and Paris

The extraction of unconventional fossil fuels has intensified over the last few years everywhere in the world. The environmental and health consequences observed in various places have given rise to the mobilisation of a number of citizens’ organisations, attaining the banning of this technique in regional and national states and by local authorities around the world.

Argentina ranks second after the United States in its efforts to secure energy sovereignty through the exploitation of unconventional fossil fuels. As an emerging economy, Argentina is characterised by a number of economic, social and political markers that are typical of countries of the South. In addition, the country has adapted its legislation in order to facilitate foreign investment by the major transnational corporations, such as the European Total, Shell and Wintershall. While the price of oil is down, more than 400 fracturing wells have been implemented on the geologic formation Vaca Muerta, Neuquén region, in Patagonia. This is to this day the only massive project of exploitation of shale gas fracking outside the United States.

The environmental, political, social, and health consequences of unconventional fossil fuels extraction observed in Neuquén Province in Argentina can help to further inform a democratic debate on unconventional fossil fuels extraction in Europe.

The Centre Europe – Tiers Monde (CETIM) and the Rosa-Luxemburg-Stiftung, Brussels Office organise a European tour with anti-fracking activists from Argentina. In public events, together with French activists, they inform about the Argentinian case, present the book “La passion du schiste. Capitalisme, démocratie, environnement en Argentine” (CETIM, OPSur) and the film “Terres de Shistes - Fracking Patagonia”. The delegation further meets representatives of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva, Members of the European Parliament in Brussels, parliamentarians in France, and campaigners and activists.

The delegation:

Enrique Viale, Argentina, is lawyer, he specialised in environmental law (University of Buenos Aires). He is co-founder of the Argentinian Association of Environmental Lawyers (AAdeAA), member of the International Tribunal for the Rights of Nature headed by Vandana Shiva (India) and also member of the Earth Law Alliance. He engaged in several legal environmental cases. He is part of the “Permanent Group Beyond Development” (initiated by the Rosa-Luxemburg-Stiftung Andean Office in Quito). He writes and co-authors books, for example “15 mitos y realidades de la minería trasnacional en la Argentina” (2011) and “Maldesarrollo. La Argentina del extractivismo y el despojo” (2014).

Lorena Riffo, Argentina, holds a degree in communication; she is an activist in the socio-ecological organisation “Tierra para Vivir”, is doing research on social processes related to the extraction of unconventional fossil fuels for the academic institution Conicet, and is associate professor at the National University of Comahue.

Grégory Lassalle, France and Argentina, is an independent journalist, he directed the documentary “Terres de Shistes - Fracking Patagonia” (Les Amis de la Terre, France), and showed it at more than 70 public meetings in Europe (including “Filmar en América Latina”, Geneva, 2014). He writes articles on consequences of shale gas extraction for Le Monde Diplomatique and spends half his time in France and the other half in the province of Neuquén.

Vincent Espagne, France, is consultant in cultural engineering and communication and is one of the organisers of the European “Frack-Free Europe”-network. He is joint author of a report on the exploration and extraction of shale gas in Tunisia and a brochure about extreme fossil fuels in the Maghreb, published by ATTAC France in Arabic and French (2015). He is co-founder of OPACITE (Observatoire du PAntouflage et des Conflits d'InTErêts – Observatory of revolving doors and conflicts of interest).

Brussels, 24 – 27 September
Geneva, 28 – 30 September
Paris, 1 – 5 October

Marlis Gensler, Rosa-Luxemburg-Stiftung, Brussels Office, marlis.gensler(at)rosalux(dot)org


Sunday, 25 September 2016 (Liège)
15:00 – 17:30
Projection "Terres de Schiste" suivi d’un débat à Liège. Activité co-organisée par le Gresea
Venue: Barricade,  Rue Pierreuse 21, 4000 Liège

Monday, 26 September 2016 (Brussels)
09:00 – 10:00
Participation en direct au programme radio "Bruxelles, capitale de lobbies"
Venue: Radio Panik, Bruxelles (online radio or 105.4)
18:30 – 20:30
Presentation during the conference "Fossil Fuel Lock-In: why gas is a false solution"
Venue: Maison des Associations Internationales, Rue Washington 40, 1050 Bruxelles
Wednesday, 28 September 2016 (Geneva)
15:00 – 16:30
United Nations Human Rights Council
Parallel conference during the United Nations Human Rights Council
Organised by CETIM
Venue: Palais des Nations, salle XXIV, 1211 Geneva
18:30 – 20:30
Book presentation – Public conference organized by CETIM
With a drink afterwards, offered by the city of Geneva
Venue: Palais Eynard Rue de la Croix-Rouge 4, 1204 Geneva

Thursday, 29 September 2016 (Lausanne)
18:30 – 20:30
Conférence – Débat
Organisé par le collectif Halte aux forages
Venue : Centre socioculturel « Pôle Sud », avenue Jean-Jacques Mercier 3, 2e étage

Monday, 3 October 2016 (Paris)
09:30 - 17:30
Public conference in Paris: Colloque «Les gauches latino-américaines et européennes face à l’extractivisme» co-organisée avec le FAL
Venue: Assemblée nationale, Salle Victor Hugo, 126 rue de l'Université, 75007 Paris
Tuesday, 4 October 2016 (Paris)

18:00 - 19:30
Conférence contradictoire avec une compagnie pétrolière (TOTAL/Schlumberger)
Venue: ENSAM, 151 Boulevard de l'Hôpital, 75013 Paris

Image: Mary Crandall, stop fracking / Flickr / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0