726 million barrels of oil remain in the ground now

Last Sunday, more than 5.2 million people in Ecuador voted to stop crude oil drilling in ITT Block 43 of the Yasuní National Park in the Amazon region. The referendum was held in parallel with the presidential elections and has far-reaching implications. Its result is binding, regardless of who heads the country’s government. However, it must be legally implemented first – and how that is done depends very much on the next government.
In the first round of the presidential elections, left-wing candidate Luisa González received 33 percent of the votes. The liberal entrepreneur Daniel Noboa received 24 percent. The runoff election is on October 15. Before the referendum, Noboa already declared his support for halting oil production. González did not make a clear statement on Yasuní, but emphasized the importance of the oil industry for the economy and jobs.
The referendum was held under the question, “Do you agree that the Ecuadorian government should keep the ITT oil fields, known as Block 43, indefinitely underground?” 59 percent answered yes. This means that oil production in the Ishpingo, Tambococha and Tiputini regions of Block 43 will end. The acronym ITT is derived from the names.
Environmental organizations around the world consider the result a success for the climate and biodiversity. For the first time, a referendum forces a government to leave oil in the ground and dismantle fossil fuel infrastructure. The region is home to isolated indigenous peoples. The biodiversity there is high. Meanwhile, the ITT oil fields have long been the scene of global conflict between energy companies and climate activists.
This Article first appeared in Climate.Table, a product of Table.Media - Professional Briefings. Register for a free trial here.

  • Annett Michuki..

    40 w


    • Christina Carlmark

      41 w

      Brave people!

      • Patrick Kiash

        42 w

        Great news! I am glad the power of many and through the referendum result of success can be achieved. Very encouraging. We can do it!

        • Sarah Chabane

          42 w

          Such a fantastic decision! One proof that if we ask people they will leave the oil in the ground

          Welcome, let's solve the climate crisis together
          Post youtube preview with preloading
          youtube overlay

          Write or agree to climate reviews to make businesses and world leaders act. It’s easy and it works.

          Write a climate review

          Voice your opinion on how businesses and organizations impact the climate.
          0 trees planted

          One tree is planted for every climate review written to an organization that is Open for Climate Dialogue™.

          Download the app

          We plant a tree for every new user.