MEDIA RELEASE: Swiss declare 10-year drilling moratorium

Map Neuchâtel“The Swiss canton of Neuchâtel will not be drilling for the next 10 years after its parliament voted in favour of a moratorium on oil and gas exploration” said Urs Signer, member of Climate Justice Taranaki.

“We welcome this courageous step by the parliamentarians of Neuchâtel who voted 73 to 35 in support of the moratorium after receiving a petition with over 10,000 signatures.”

Celtique Energie, a British-based oil and gas exploration company, holds permits in western Switzerland and has been wanting to drill in the Val-de-Travers.

The rural movement ‘Collective Val-de-Travers’ has been organising public meetings, marches and the petition in recent months which has now led to this tremendous victory. The group has serious concerns about the drilling poisoning groundwater and polluting the air. They also argue that hydrocarbon explorations goes against Switzerland’s energy policy which says the country has to free itself from fossil-fuel energy to stop global warming.

“What a stark contrast with the NZ government’s mantra ‘drill baby drill, it’s all safe’.

“The moratorium in Neuchâtel is a great victory for communities and the planet. Our movement against fossil-fuel extraction is truly global, with more and more governments and councils stopping drilling. We are connected through our desire for a sustainable and just future for generations to come” concluded Signer.

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