Back in 2007, Ecuador stated it would not drill for oil in 3 remote parts of Yasuni National Park, considered to be one of the most bio-diverse spots on Earth, if the world community paid them about half the expected revenue from oil production, roughly $3.5 billion. The idea was to combat climate change by keeping oil in the ground and stemming deforestation, preserve countless species (many not-yet-discovered), and safeguard indigenous people. But despite United Nations backing, the program failed to attract rapid global investment. Recently, Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa said he was abandoning the program. But, reports Jeremy Hance at Mongabay, activists had a rapid response: hold a national referendum on whether Ecuador should drill or not. The country requires signatures from 5 percent of the population (around 500,00 people currently) in order for an item to be up for a national referendum. The president is unsupportive, though: the revenues are badly needed to reduce poverty. Polling shows 90 percent of Ecuadoreans supported the previous “pay not to drill” program, however. Activists believe they can win the referendum if they can acquire enough signatures.
Join the swelling numbers of voters TELLING Congress they’ll vote for Clean Energy candidates here: http://signon.org/sign/we-are-the-clean-99?source=c.em.cp&r_by=487176 . This is an ongoing campaign (the next Congressional election is in less than 2 years!) so please, spread the word. It’s our way of telling Congress that a strong clean energy voting bloc is out there. This is how YOU can make a difference.
For more on Climate Change, check out my weekly column at the HuffingtonPost, Climate Change This Week : http://www.huffingtonpost.com/author/index.php?author=mary-ellen-harte
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