Gas imports clash with fracking ban
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28th May 2020
Prominent activists, scientists, and groups urge COP26 hosts to side with the climate and environment – while prioritising long term stability for workers through green jobs
A request for £500m in state support by petrochemical and fracking company Ineos – partly owned by billionaire and tax exile Jim Ratcliffe, is drawing international opposition.
In an open letter, signed by over 100 groups, prominent activists and scientists urge Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and UK’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson not to bailout or grant any government loans to Petroineos, the joint venture of PetroChina and Ineos.
Signatories include Talk Fracking, Food & Water Action Europe, Friends of the Earth Scotland, Greenpeace UK, #BreakFreeFromPlastic, Frack Free United, UK Youth Climate Coalition, Plastic Free Scotland, Physicians for Social Responsibility Pennsylvania, Centre for International Environmental Law, Oil Change International as well as fashion icon Dame Vivienne Westwood and climate scientist Prof. Robert Howarth, Cornell University, NY.
“Ineos is the main driving force behind the establishment of an already existing supply chain of fracked US gas for virgin plastic production in Europe,” says Andy Gheorghiu, Policy Advisor for Food & Water Action Europe. “The COP26 hosts shouldn’t support a climate hostile business model that fuels the proliferation of fracking in Pennsylvania, a state that was already struggling with the impacts of oil, gas and petrochemicals industry pollution.”
“Any support packages for companies must set conditions to protect workers’ rights and high environmental standards, prevent public money from being diverted into the pockets of shareholders, and re-orientate the industry towards meeting the Paris climate agreement,” says Louise Edge, Head of Oceans Plastic Campaign, Greenpeace UK.
“This must be planned for and managed in deep partnership with trade unions, workers and communities to ensure a Just Transition into clean industry that guarantees decent work for those impacted and secure local economies,” says Sarah Moyes, Plastic and Circular Economy Campaigner for Friends of the Earth Scotland.
“Ineos is well known for publicly opposing green policies and taxes – while at the same time the company owned by one of the richest men in the UK sees no contradiction in making use of a state loan guarantee to maintain its otherwise unprofitable fracking for plastics business model”, says Delphine Levi European coordinator of Break Free From Plastic. “This cannot be tolerated – in particular in times when we desperately need massive investment in a green stimulus.”
“Every investment in or support for Ineos would directly fuel the climate and plastics crisis, locking in future instability at a time when investment should be prioritised towards creating a secure and sustainable industry”, say fashion icon Vivienne Westwood and her son Joe Corré, Founder of Talk Fracking. “The Prime Minister of the UK and the First Minister of Scotland must prove true climate leadership by not granting any government support to Jim Ratcliffe and Ineos.”
Notes to Editors
1. Read the open letter: https://tinyurl.com/OpenLetter-NoBailoutForIneos