Blog Posts: Climate crisis

February 28th, 2019

ExxonMobil Comes To Brussels

By Eilidh Robb

Update, March 19 : ExxonMobil, despite happily using lobbying opportunities in the European Parliament and other EU institutions, has refused parliamentarians’ invitation to speak at the hearing. This is unacceptable. Parliament must act to hold Exxon accountable. At the hearing, we will be asking them to revoke their lobbying access entirely, just as they did with Monsanto in 2017.

In the same way that we look back on the tobacco industry’s remarkable PR stunts and wonder how they got away with it, we will look back on the activities of ExxonMobil and ask ourselves the same question.

For the past 50 years ExxonMobil has been sitting on some pretty important findings about the certainty of human-induced climate change – findings that they conveniently hid from the world by launching a $33 billion campaign to sow doubt and denial about global warming, which allowed them to justify continued pollution.
Read the full article…

February 8th, 2019

Over 67,000 Signatures Against Proposed Fracked Gas LNG Terminals in Germany

by Andy Gheorghiu

“Gassy” Germany Beats “Green” Germany

Action in Berlin. (Photo by Uwe Hiksch)

Despite its “green” image, Germany remains the biggest gas consumer in Europe. Using almost 92 billion cubic metres (bcm) of fossil gas in 2017, gas accounted for 24 percent in Germany’s primary energy consumption. And the so-called “Climate Chancellor”, Angela Merkel, recently announced in Davos that the targeted coal phase-out will further increase Germany’s need for gas.

Because of its comprehensive cross-border pipeline infrastructure and its central location, Germany has become the main gas transit hub in Europe, with significant amounts of gas from Russia and Norway transiting the country for delivery to other markets: With a gas import capacity of 54 bcm per year from Norway (via three pipelines), 208 bcm per year from Russia (via 3 pipelines: North Stream 1, Yamal and the Ukraine pipeline system), and some 25 bcm per year from the Netherlands (via four main pipelines and interconnection points), and gas storage capacities of 24.6 bcm (via 51 gas storage facilities), Germany can import and store more than three times more gas than it consumes. According to the German Economy Ministry, Germany’s gas storage facilities are the fourth largest in the world and the largest in Europe.
Read the full article…

December 6th, 2018

Another COP Flooded by Fossil Fuel Corporations

By Frida Kieninger

This week COP24, the UN climate change conference, kicked off in Katowice, Poland. Ahead of the COP, activities took place in various countries to show the peoples’ demand for truly ambitious climate talks and against false solutions. Brussels saw what is most likely its largest climate march in history on 2 December and thousands of Australian students went on strike over their government’s inaction on climate change.

The COP host country and particularly the region around Katowice are heavily dependent on coal, and fossil fuel corporations are not only sponsoring the talks but also very visible throughout the conference. To showcase this blatant case of conflict of interest, public interest group Corporate Europe Observatory will organize a lobby tour around the COP24 location.

What else is happening around gas at the COP?
Read the full article…

November 30th, 2018

A U-turn for Climate Policies in Spain

By David Sánchez and Frida Kieninger

The clock is ticking for climate change. And politicians know, at least some of them. The new Spanish government is radically changing climate policies in the country. While the previous one imposed a tax on solar energy and removed incentives for renewables, the new Ministry for Ecological Transition has published a draft for a Climate Change legislation that created a huge controversy.

According to the draft that answers a historical demand from environmental groups like Friends of the Earth Spain, at least 20% of the national budget will be earmarked for climate action. There are a lot of good measures in the project, including:

  • A 100% renewable energy electricity system by 2050 (70% by 2030).
  • A ban on fracking (but not on imports of fracked gas).
  • No more fossil fuel exploration licenses (onshore and offshore). The existing ones will phase out by 2040.
  • A ban on subsides or economic incentives for fossil fuels and a review of the existing ones to eliminate them.
  • Installation of 3,000 new megawatts of renewable energy per year.

This all sounds good, but there is still a lot to improve. The draft sets 2040 as the date to ban sale of gasoline and diesel cars, when other European countries have been more ambitious. Furthermore, while Spain is turning into a pig factory farm nation and the meat industry is the fourth biggest in the country (after the auto, oil and electricity industries), there is no mention in the draft about emissions coming from industrial agriculture.
Read the full article…

November 14th, 2018

Germany’s “Climate Chancellor” Is Bowing Down to Trump’s Pressure, But We Won’t

Updated 7 December 2018

by Andy Gheorghiu

Not long ago, Germany’s Angela Merkel was hailed internationally as the “Climate Chancellor”. Under the former environment minister (1994 – 1998), the German government made headlines worlwide for its achievements related to its energy transition (the “Energiewende”) and the country also introduced a moratorium on shale gas fracking until 2021.

However, it seems as if – along with the rise of far-right nutters all over the world – more and more politicians and political parties are willing to throw away the last bits of committed climate action.

Under pressure from Trump’s administration, Merkel has caved in and now promises to support and even co-finance the construction of at least one liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal with public money.

Economy Minister Peter Altmaier called the support a “gesture to our American friends” – in full awareness of the fact that market analysts called the decision “the creation of an investment-ruin” clearly outlining that “Germany doesn’t need Trump’s gas.“
Read the full article…

October 11th, 2018

We’re Taking Action for the #GasDownFrackDown 2018

We urge World Sailing Association to exclude Ineos sailing team

by Andy Gheorghiu

After pledging to “beat plastic pollution” earlier this year, World Sailing’s President comes under fire for allowing UK petrochemical giant INEOS to sponsor the UK sailing team. INEOS’s sponsorship can be seen as nothing but blatant greenwashing, which directly undermines the ethics of World Sailing.

In its Code of Ethics, World Sailing makes a promise “to protect the environment on the occasion of any events…and to uphold generally accepted standards for environmental protection.” World Sailing further claims to support the objectives of increasing and developing awareness of sustainability issues amongst all sailing stakeholders.

In June this year, World Sailing joined the Clean Seas Campaign, partnering with the International Olympic Committee and UN Environment to ‘beat plastic pollution’.

The ongoing presence of INEOS Team UK in World Sailing’s headline event single-handedly shatters these endeavours, bringing World Sailing, into disrepute.
Read the full article…

Fracking4Plastics – a Link that Drives Plastic and Climate Pollution

by Andy Gheorghiu

I guess that when people think of plastic pollution most of the time they think of single use plastic items (such as plastic bags, cotton buds, plastic straws, and food & beverage packaging).

I also guess that – when people think about getting active against plastic pollution – some people would like to introduce bans on single-use plastic bags and cotton buds as well as bottle deposit-return and recycling schemes – basically trying to help reduce the use of polluting plastic in their daily lives.

However, the core of the problem lies in the business of virgin plastic production where the key corporations totally rely on, or even represent major oil and gas companies. Unfortunately, these guys are not keen to reduce plastic production at all because that’s what makes both theirs and their shareholders deep pockets happy.

Shale gas and fracking is creating a plastics renaissance in the U.S.

Read the full article…

October 2nd, 2018

A 20,000-cow Dairy Farm in Europe? No way!

by David Sánchez

Noviercas is a small village of 158 inhabitants in Northeast Spain. It is located in the province of Soria, inside a region known as the “Spanish Siberia” because of the low population density, less than 8 people per square kilometer.

This village became famous when the co-op Valle del Odieta announced last year their intentions to build a 20,000-cow factory farm in the village. It would be the biggest dairy farm in Europe and the project immediately became controversial for all the potential impacts it could bring to the area and to the farming sector.

Farmers are leading the opposition, as they estimate this factory farm would destroy 700 direct jobs, one third of the dairy farms in the region. It would produce around 368,000 tons of manure per year, the equivalent of the waste produced by a city of 4.4 million people. And the farm would consume between 4 and 6.35 million liters of water per day, more than the total consumption of the city of Soria (40,000 inhabitants). Impacts on the environment and local communities can be huge.

This farm has nothing to do with the European model of livestock farming. We have witnessed fierce resistance to previous dairy mega factory farms with 8,000 thousand cows in the UK or even actions of civil disobedience against a 1,000-cow farm in France.

We cannot allow this model, imported from the US, to come to Europe. Impacts of these huge factory farms are well documented and are reason enough to ask for a ban. Stopping this farm would be a really symbolic step against the invasion of factory farms in Europe to defend a sustainable and social model of farming.

You can read more about it here in English, Spanish and French.

We will campaign with our allies to stop this project. Stay tuned!

September 19th, 2018

The Tiny Corner Of America Where Oil Titans Will Stash 2 Million Gallons Of Gas

US Politicians (including some Democrats) are pushing dangerous projects to prop up the plummeting profitability of natural gas fracking.

If these massive petrochemical, plastics, and pipeline investments are not stopped, people who live nearby will have the steepest price to pay — with their health and their environment.

The big secret is out — fracking hasn’t been as profitable as the industry thought it would be. Prices and profits have been crashing, so gas and oil companies have been racking their brains to find new ways to market fracked gas to get a return on their money. The industry’s clever answer to their financial troubles lies in plastics, because the petrochemical industry can make plastic out of the fracked gas.

The fracking and petrochemical industries have teamed up to dump tens of billions of dollars into the heart of the Appalachian region —  right where Pennsylvania, Ohio, and West Virginia meet. They are building pipelines and petrochemical and plastics manufacturing complexes, and a large underground storage facility. Our research team has released a damning issue brief that underscores the partnership between these polluting industries, elected officials, and regional universities to launch a massive petrochemical and pipeline boom.
Read the full article…

September 7th, 2018

A Global Movement Against Gas and Fracking Is Rising

See the rising up from the Gasdown Frackdown

Along with our partners, Food & Water Europe is part of a global movement against fossil fuel extraction and FOR a sustainable future.

This October we mobilized and targeting those behind the boom of fossil gas and fracking infrastructure:

  • industry
  • governments
  • petrochemical giants that make plastics out of fossil fuels; and
  • banks that finance all of this.

We call it the The Global Gasdown Frackdown Day of Action.

We are showing our governments and the fossil fuel industry that our  communities and our atmosphere cannot handle another generation of fossil fuel addiction – JOIN US!

Read the full article…

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