State Council maintains suspension of fracking in Colombia
Foto: Esperanza Proxima (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0).
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11 September 2019
We are proud to be part of the litigation in which this decision occured and hope that the high court will continue to prioritize the precautionary principle and consider the risks of harm that fracking poses to the environment and human health.
Bogotá, Colombia. In response to an action filed by the Public Interest Legal Clinic of the Universidad del Norte, Colombia's State Council maintained the provisional suspension of the exploration and exploitation of non-conventional hydrocarbon deposits through hydraulic fracturing.
This means that fracking continues to be suspended in Colombia, that it is currently illegal to carry it out, and that Colombia is in the midst of a moratorium on fracking by court order.
With its decision, the State Council, a Colombian High Court, rejected the government's request, which sought to lift the suspension that has been in force since last November and give free rein to fracking in the country.
AIDA celebrates the State Council's decision and we feel very honored to be part of this litigation.
It is undoubtedly a step in the right direction given the high degree of uncertainty about the risks associated with fracking. These include: air pollution, the contamination of surface and groundwater sources, damages to human health, and emissions of methane—a potent greenhouse gas and one of the main aggravators of the climate crisis facing the world.
In this scenario, the urgency of moving towards clean energy is evident.
The high court concluded that the precautionary principle should be applied because, even without absolute scientific certainty, there is minimal evidence of potential damage resulting from an apparent deficiency in the measures contemplated in the regulation of fracking.
Colombia today aims to be an example for Latin America.
The provisional suspension of the regulation corresponds to a precautionary measure while the case is definitively resolved. It is essential that the State Council continue to give priority to the precautionary principle, taking into account the lack of full certainty about the risks of irreversible damage that fracking implies for the environment, the climate and for people.
At AIDA, we welcome judicial independence, because it is fundamental for the legal protection of the environment. We hope that the ongoing judicial process will properly consider the evidence and arguments presented, including those related to an increasingly urgent task: the fight against the climate crisis.