Learn more about mining, oil and gas
The problemInstitutions such as the World Bank, have pressured governments in developing countries to allow foreign investors to enter their countries and extract fossil fuels, metals and minerals. The results are hugely destructive drilling platforms, pipelines and large-scale mines. These projects cause environmental disasters, intensify social conflicts and are often associated with severe human right violations. Through the large-scale pollution of land, air and water, people lose their livelihoods and develop health problems.
Ironically, allowing foreign companies to access and export their fossil fuels, metals and minerals has very often not financially benefited developing countries. While their debts continue to grow and their communities continue to suffer, it is only the transnational corporations, corrupt political elites and rich consumers that benefit.
While Friends of the Earth International understands that the consumption of materials produced with oil, gas, and minerals cannot realistically end tomorrow, we actively challenge current production and consumption patterns and how they relate to the world’s real needs. We believe that we can only achieve socially just and environmentally sustainable societies by dramatically changing our lifestyles.
One of the most important steps towards improvement is to stop the destructive activities in the oil, mining and gas sector caused by corporations. Governments need to hold these corporations accountable for the negative impacts of their activities.
As concerns about climate change escalate and as the severe impacts of extractive industries continue, public institutions such as the World Bank should not perpetuate extraction-based economies and fossil fuel dependence. Institutions that use public money should be pursuing investments that genuinely lead to improvements in people's lives and their environments. A shift away from fossil fuel and mining investments and towards socially and environmentally sustainable energy solutions is crucial.
There is a growing world wide movement demanding the recognition of the cumulative negative impacts of oil, mining and gas projects created by multinational corporations, which cause such devastation in the South. These impacts are also referred to as the ‘ecological debt’. The responsible governments and International Financial Institutions need to acknowledge their ecological debt, compensate for the damage they have caused, and ensure their activities are transformed in to sustainable and equitable practices for the future.
What we’re doing
Friends of the Earth International, in cooperation with communities on all continents, has a long history of campaigning on oil, gas and mining. We work at local, national and international levels to end subsidies from publicly-funded institutions like the World Bank and Export Credit Agencies to oil, gas and mining projects. We support the right of local communities to reject and resist extractive industry operations that threaten their health and livelihoods. We challenge the world's governments to redirect their support towards economic alternatives that could take us towards equitable and sustainable societies. At the same time, we call upon people everywhere to think critically and creatively about what they really need to consume and produce.
Please visit our Get Involved section to find out how you can help.