Ecuador’s rejection of oil extraction in the Amazon ‘gives us all hope’

Ecuador’s rejection of oil extraction in the Amazon ‘gives us all hope’

Date: 21 August 2023
Campaigns: Climate

Reacting to Ecuador’s rejection in a referendum of oil extraction in the Yasuni national park in the Amazon by 59% to 41% (1), Dorothy Guerrero, head of policy and advocacy at Global Justice Now, said:

“Ecuador’s landmark decision gives us all hope. It’s possible to say no to the oil giants who are wrecking our planet. Indigenous communities in Ecuador have tirelessly campaigned for this for more than a decade and that effort built the widespread support across the nation that delivered this verdict. It makes Ecuador a global trailblazer.

“But the struggle to protect Yasuni is not over yet. It is a bold step for a country like Ecuador, whose economy has depended on oil exports, to choose to leave fossil fuels in the ground. But if dealing with climate change isn’t to impoverish countries in the global south, polluters need to pay compensation to keep the oil in the soil. The corporations and countries – like the UK – that have grown rich off trashing the planet must be made to pay their climate debt.

“This result will also give courage to movements in the UK resisting fossil fuel developments in places like Cumbria and Rosebank. Ecuador’s choice to reject oil extraction gives the lie to Rishi Sunak’s eager embrace of more oil, coal and gas. We in the UK can also say no to mining and yes to life and the planet.”