Blog Posts: Common Resources

October 21st, 2015

Another Day, Another Distraction for the Human Right to Water

By David Sánchez

New Mantras, Old Problems

WaterIsAHumanRightThere is a new mantra in the EU water debate: transparency. The European Commission, after ignoring the nearly two million signatures asking for the implementation of the Human Right to Water and Sanitation, is trying to keep people busy by launching a number of bureaucratic initiatives, based on mantras like transparency.

But what does transparency mean? For many private water operators it seems that overflowing people with technical data can be enough. But If I think on what information is important to me, my first thoughts go the quality of the water I am drinking. I would also like to understand my water bill and my taxes, so I can know where my money is going. Is it being invested to improve water infrastructure? In measures to control pollution of our water resources? To guarantee the right to water of those facing economic problems? Or is it going to the shareholders of a multinational company?

Read the full article…

October 9th, 2015

Hard To Keep Up. Get the Latest on the #GlobalFrackdown and More.

By Geert Decock

Global Frackdown to ParisHere I am, busily preparing for the Global Frackdown. We are planning a delivery action of our awesome sign-on letter in Brussels to our elected officials, preparing a global gathering of anti-fracking activists during the climate summit in Paris (stay tuned for more details), and generally keeping up with the latest developments on shale gas in Brussels.

For example, we officially launched our latest report ‘Fracking Business (As Usual)’ last week, which clearly demonstrates how the European Commission’s soft-touch approach of the fracking industry is failing to protect the environment and health of European citizens. For starters, its ‘Recommendation’ on fracking, issued almost two years ago, is non-binding. The Recommendation is also quite vague on a number of crucial issues such as the chemicals used in fracking and the way fracking wastewater will be treated. Our report also details how the European Union institutions rely e.g. mainly on industry operators to establish a baseline on key environmental parameters. Needless to say that appealing to the better nature of Big Oil and Gas and pro-fracking governments of Poland and the UK has not made any difference on the ground.

Read the full article…

September 28th, 2015

Two and a half million Europeans say, “Stop TTIP!”

By Eve Mitchell

Say no to TTIPThat’s a lot of people. Folks aren’t happy about TTIP. They’re right to worry.

Promises from politicians keep rolling in about how much we’ll all benefit, but it doesn’t add up – more exports can’t fix everyone’s economic problems. Big companies support TTIP, and they’ve got the lobbying power to back them up. Only 4 percent of EU Commission lobbying meetings surveyed were with public interest groups – 92 percent were with private sector lobbyists.

When it comes to TTIP, being big matters. Whatever they say in public, behind the scenes big business knows who will win, and who will lose, under TTIP. Even the UK Confederation of British Industry says TTIP gains for small- and medium-sized businesses are “hypothetical“. Big business is also perfectly happy if TTIP erodes our right to make new rules to protect us and our environment since it makes their jobs easier.

Read the full article…

August 19th, 2015

Fracking and Europe: Shale Fail & Preparing for The 2015 Global Frackdown to Paris

Post Summer Wrap-up on Fracking in Europe

By Geert Decock

Global Frackdown to ParisDid you go ‘unplugged’ this summer, when you were walking in the mountains or hitting the beaches? Were you not checking the World Wide Web for the latest news on fracking, shale gas, unconventional oil and gas?

Not to worry, this blog will catch you up in no time.

The summer of 2015 was barely underway when the Dutch government decided that there will be no commercial shale exploration before 2020. The Dutch government first wants to get a clearer view on the transition of the Netherlands to a zero-carbon energy mix. Once the post-2020 energy mix of the Netherlands is better understood, a decision will be made whether the moratorium on shale gas continues. In any case, the licences that had been awarded to the exploration company Cuadrilla were cancelled.

Read the full article…

May 11th, 2015

Just One Vote Short!

By Geert Decock

FoodandWaterEuropeOneVoteShortBanFrackingQuick newsflash! Some Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) were given the opportunity to take a clear stance on fracking on May 7. They could vote in favour or against an amendment (nr 366) that called for an immediate moratorium on fracking in the EU, urging Member States not to authorise any new unconventional hydraulic fracturing operations in the EU. We are thrilled to report that – of the 60 Members of the Parliament’s Industry, Research and Energy Committee – half of them (30!) voted in favour of this amendment.

This is the closest that the movement to stop fracking has ever come to getting (part of) an institution of the European Union endorsing a moratorium, and shows that political support for fracking and shale gas in the European Parliament is crumbling. And this is the Parliament’s Industry committee, which is usually in favour of ‘business’ – and by business, we mean Big Business like Big Oil & Gas. Read the full article…

March 17th, 2015

Join Me at the Right2Water Protest

Join the Right2Water Movement

By David Sánchez 

This is BIG.

The Right2Water movement is growing.

It’s easy to see why – the goals are clear:

1. Guaranteed water and sanitation for all in Europe.

2. No privatisation of water services.

3. Universal access to water and sanitation for all.

On 23 March 2015, people will come from across Europe to mobilise in Brussels. Our mission is to remind the European Commission that they work for us and not for corporations!

This is a critical time to gather and speak out. We gathered 2 million signatures but the European Commission did nothing. And the European Parliament is preparing a resolution in defense of the human right to water.

I’ll be there on 23 March, chanting, “We want the Human Right to Water and we want it now!”

Will you join me?

Learn more and RSVP to attend.

March 4th, 2015

Enemies in War, Partners in Water Privatisation

Welcome David!

Tony Blair: Best friends don’t sell out public water!

By David Sánchez

Can two politicians be enemies in a war, insulting each other for years, but end up signing a contract and being besties? Yes, they can, when business perspectives are promising.

This story goes back 16 years. In March 1999, NATO launched an operation to bomb Serbia, when this country was still part of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. On one side, Tony Blair, British Prime Minister at that time, was one of the main supporters of the attack. On the other side, Aleksandar Vucic was Minister of Information in the Government of Yugoslavia. Read the full article…

February 23rd, 2015

Fracking Scorecard: Shale Gas In Retreat In The European Union

By Geert Decock 

Which country will stand against fracking next?

France. Belgium. Scotland. Wales. We’ve got a slew of wins against fracking to acknowledge and celebrate. But we cannot rest on our laurels. The profiteers are working to keep their dirty and dangerous fracking operations active and they will continue to do so until we work together to make sure there is a complete ban in Europe and beyond!

Those of us following the debate on fracking in Europe are probably aware that France and Bulgaria already banned fracking, in 2011 and 2012 respectively. Big Oil & Gas has challenged these bans, even all the way up to the Constitutional Court in France. But these bans on fracking are still standing. This is a testament to how strong public opinion rejects fracking for shale gas. So far, no other Member State has moved to also ban fracking in their national law.

However, that does not necessarily mean that shale gas is advancing elsewhere. Quite the contrary: Over the few months, a slew of new moratoriums on fracking has come in effect. It started in the summer of 2014, when the regional Flemish government decided that – in the absence of some minimal rules and administrative capacity on fracking – there would be a moratorium for the exploration and production of fossil fuels that require fracking. In December 2014, the Dutch Parliament also voted in favour of another extension of an earlier moratorium, at least until the end of the current government of Prime Minister Rutte. This means that there may be no fracking in the Netherlands until mid-2017. Read the full article…

January 29th, 2015

Water Activists, Beware of Free Trade Agreements!

WHAT CAN YOU DO?
  • Read our new fact sheet: Trading Away Public Water: Trade Negotiations and Water Services
  • Join more than 1 million Europeans and sign the self-organised European Citizens’ Initiative to Stop TTIP and CETA

STOP TTIP

By David Sánchez 

Citizens in Europe are still resisting the last wave to privatize water, as a consequence of austerity measures imposed in several countries affected by the crisis. Attempts were blocked in Greece and are still being resisted in countries like Ireland. On the other hand, we have a new wave of cities taking back public control over water management, like Paris and Berlin. But those victories, and the huge effort to keep water public and enforce the human right to water in the European Union (EU), are facing now another major threat. Read the full article…

January 28th, 2015

Oil, Gas and Water Just Do Not Mix

By Geert Decock

Oil, Gas and Water Don't MixKids learn in a basic science experiment that when you try to mix oil and water, oil will float to the top, because the two substances don’t mix. I had to think back to such experiments when reading a report on Water Innovation in Oil and Gas 2014, published by the London Environmental Investment Forum and sponsored by Veolia.

The water sector sees a major new growth opportunity in the development of unconventional fossil fuels, such as shale gas, tight gas and coal-bed methane. These oil and gas resources can only be extracted by the use of fracking, which involves injecting millions of litres of water at high pressure underground, mixed with sand and (at times toxic) chemicals. Read the full article…

Welcome!

You are reading Food & Water Europe's blog.

Please join the conversation by leaving comments.

Feel free to contact us.

Blog Categories

Blog archives

Sign Up To:

Champion healthy food and clean water and stand up to corporations that put profits before people!

-->