European Oil Corporations and Banks to Face Resistance from Communities Fighting Against Fracking in Vaca Muerta

Across Europe – Representatives from the indigenous Mapuche community and a human rights defender will be traveling Europe throughout May 2023 attending protests and actions targeting  the Annual General Meetings (AGMs) of oil giants and banks that are responsible for devastating fracking operations in Vaca Muerta, Argentina.

The demand: stop financing fracking that is polluting our waters and affecting our ways of life.

The Vaca Muerta Tour will be supported by a diverse range of climate justice activists from across the European continent. The aims are to:

  • Confront oil corporations like Total, and banks like Deutsche bank, with a demand to end fracking in Vaca Muerta;
  • Build a cross-regional movement to end fracking in Vaca Muerta;
  • Highlight the hypocrisy of European institutions profiteering from fracking overseas when it is banned in many European countries where people are facing a cost-of living crisis.

Fernando Barraza, activist and communicator of the Mapuche community, and Edith Galarza, lawyer of the Assembly for Human Rights of Neuquén, will tour Europe bringing their testimonies to raise awareness about the impacts of fracking in their communities and the wider region. They will be accompanied by the Latin America team that has been campaigning for several years against the development and expansion of Vaca Muerta.

Fernando Barraza, activist and communicator of the Mapuche community said:

“Fracking and blind extractivism is desertifying our lands, as well as gradually destroying drinking water throughout our region. Companies such as Equinor and Total are directly responsible for our rivers dying,  our territories being polluted and our animals suffering , our water being poisoned, our families going bankrupt. We are those who know that it is impossible to live without coexisting harmoniously with diversity, all that exists and lives and that to achieve this coexistence we need to plant ourselves firmly. The problem is not us. We are part of the solution”.

Edith Galarza, lawyer of the Assembly for Human Rights of Neuquén said:

“For us to be traveling from our communities and going into the belly of the beast is an important opportunity to tell people what is happening to our land at the expense of the search for profit. We are calling on banks to take responsibility and reduce their financed emissions, by phasing out support for oil and gas companies and integrating the findings of the IEA’s and IPCC’s latest reports, which call for no further oil and gas expansion.

Fossil finance is an issue of justice. The biggest chunk of the finance that supports the fossil fuel industry comes from places in the Global North. Those banks and companies fund destruction and exploitation in the South, and profit from it. This is what colonialism looks like in the 21st century.”

The tour includes visits to the AGMs of Equinor in Norway, BNP Paribas and Total in France, Deutsche Bank in Germany.

Why attend these AGMs? BNP Paribas and Deutsche Bank finance the main oil majors that currently have projects in Vaca Muerta. While Equinor and Total have been practising fracking for 10 years, generating a high socio-environmental impact and benefiting from tax facilities.

The schedule for the Vaca Muerta tour:

  • 10 May: Equinor AGM. Stavanger, Norway. The delegation will attend the event in conjunction with the Equinor Coalition, where organisations such as Greenpeace, WWF, Uplift, among others, are participating in actions.
  • 16 May: BNP Paribas AGM. Paris, France. The delegation will attend the event in conjunction with the BNP Case Coalition, where organisations such as Reclaim Finance, Banktrack and Friends of the Earth, among others, are participating in actions.
  • 17 May: Deutsche Bank AGM. Frankfurt, Germany. This AGM will be online. Our delegation will participate in it and then attend activities in Frankfurt. Among them is a joint action with Friday For Future targeting companies that extract carbon and gas from Latin America.

We will be in touch soon to share more information about the agenda, actions, demands and photo opportunities. 

Information on fracking in Vaca Muerta:

Vaca Muerta is a region in Argentina roughly the size of Belgium containing the second-largest reserve of shale gas and the fourth-largest reserve of shale oil in the world – dangerous fossil fuels being extracted through the controversial process of fracking, a process banned across many European countries. The controversial project, if fully exploited and burnt, will release into the atmosphere a volume of CO₂ equivalent to 11.4% of the global CO₂ budget, that is the entire volume of CO₂ that can be emitted between now and 2050, if humanity wants to limit global warming to 1.5 °C, as defined in the Paris Agreement.

Media contacts:

Carolina Ávila
Vaca Muerta campaign press
[email protected]
+34 607412639 (calls)
+11 57410140 (Whatsapp)

Mark Raven
Europe Communications
[email protected]
+44 7841474125

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