Blog Posts: January 2016

January 28th, 2016

How Does Big Oil & Gas Get Its Way?

By Geert Decock

Food & Water Europe's Geert Decock

Food & Water Europe’s Geert Decock

Last week, I received a couple of calls and emails about the announcement that the gas sector will receive EUR 207 million for a total of nine so-called “Projects of Common Interest”. The bulk of this taxpayers’ money – just under EUR 180 million – will go to a project of a Romanian gas distribution company to build a gas pipeline connecting Member States in the southeastern part of the EU to a gas hub in Austria. To put this in context, six “Projects of Common Interest” investing in better-connected grid infrastructure received EUR 10 million. What can explain this grotesque difference? And how does Big Oil & Gas get its way?

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January 21st, 2016

Fracking: How Bad Is It?

By Geert Decock

CouldGoWrongFoodWaterEuropeBanFracking

Fracking is a bad idea. But how bad is fracking? Pretty awful, particularly if you are confronted with dozens of rigs, fracking equipment, trucks and spills, … But exactly how bad is fracking? Stubborn scientists are digging deep to find out more about the dirty secrets of the fracking industry. The scientists that advised the US Environmental Protection Agency about the impacts of fracking on water rejected the greenwashing communication about their report, which “does not reflect the uncertainties and data limitations described in the body of the Report”. Just before Christmas, other scientists published an article confirming that oil and gas operations in Texas leak almost twice as much gas as has been estimated. That gas, so-called fugitive methane, is a very powerful greenhouse gas and even a little bit of leakage calls into question the status of gas as low-carbon or a transition fuel. To top it off, researchers at Yale University found that many of the fluids used in and created by fracking have been linked to reproductive and developmental health problems.

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January 20th, 2016

Nitrogen On The Table, Nitrates In The Tap

By David Sánchez

FoodandWaterEuropeDangerousNitrogenFactoryFarmsNitrogen is a basic component of our food and a vital nutrient for plants and crops to grow. But high concentrations are harmful to people and nature. Last week, the presentation of a scientific report in the European Parliament, “Nitrogen on the Table”, tried to call attention to this problem. In this report, the authors considered the major benefits of reduced meat and dairy consumption in Europe, since so far more focus has been put on the supply side, developing technological solutions. And I fully agree; we need to reduce European consumption of meat and dairy, and we need to look beyond those “miraculous” technological solutions.

But I always have some concerns when the political debate focuses too much on individual solutions, like reducing meat consumption. For me, that means we are missing one key question: Who is really causing the mess?

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January 4th, 2016

To a New Year Full of Victories for Our Food and Water!

By Geert Decock

FoodandWaterEuropeRomaniaFrackdownHere at Food & Water Europe, we’re not only celebrating the New Year, but also the 10th anniversary of our sister organisation, Food & Water Watch.

Together we have grown into a powerful advocate for healthy food and clean water for all, with nearly 1 million supporters in the US and thousands here in Europe demanding that our democracy work to improve people’s lives and protect the environment. Thanks to YOU, our allies, activists and grassroots partners, we’re proving that when we bring people together, we can overcome even the most powerful corporations.

You are a wonderful part of our celebrations, and I want to share just some of the important victories you made happen right here in Europe:

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