Blog Posts: Consumers

February 7th, 2020

Parliament Must Reject 55+ Fossil Gas Projects NOW. Not in 2021

Debunking the dubious arguments for not taking action

By Frida Kieninger and Ciara Barry

The projects are costly and climate-killingOn 12 February, the EU Parliament will vote on the PCI list, a priority list for big energy infrastructure, mostly electricity and gas projects. This list contains over 55 fossil gas projects worth 29 billion Euros. None of these projects are needed to ensure EU energy supply; these unnecessary gas projects would be eligible for millions of EU tax money and funding by the European Investment Bank, and will deepen the climate crisis.

So why is there still reluctance within the Parliament to reject this list?

Read the full article…

February 4th, 2020

A Just Transition is Possible for Ireland’s South West

The Shannon LNG terminal is still promoted as a key employer for the South-West of Ireland. But the transition to clean, renewable energy offers a better path for workers and the climate.

A beautiful view in Ireland.

Image credits: Wikimedia Commons

By Ciara Barry

The rural area of Ballylongford in County Kerry, Ireland, has become the centre of attention in a debate that pits advocates of the gas industry against those pushing for a renewable energy future.

Ballylongford is the proposed location for Shannon LNG, an import terminal which seeks to import liquefied fossil gas, likely sourced from fracking operations in the United States.

Although the project was granted planning permission in 2008, due to legal challenges and a campaign co-initiated by Food & Water Europe two years ago, not a brick has been laid in this controversial project.

Read the full article…

July 9th, 2018

The Fracking & LNG Ghosts of Gas Addicted Germany (Part II of II)

by Andy Gheorghiu

Read Part I

Alleged “Frack-Free” Germany

Many people think that Germany has banned fracking but this is not completely true. And even the existing partial ban is at risk at the moment.

Let’s have a look at the legal framework: In Germany, fracking is officially banned outright in shale and coal bed methane layers until 2021. However, with the approval of an expert panel established in June 2018, up to four fracking research projects in these layers might be allowed and conducted.

In addition, fracking and fracking waste disposal is also prohibited in designated water protection areas, areas with water bodies linking to natural lakes or dams that serve as public water supplies, areas with wells for the production of beverages or drinks, or areas that fall under the water security law.

However, the details of Germany’s current fracking legal framework reveal a number of cracks. Just as in the UK, nature protection zones and national parks appear to be protected. However, this protection only applies to the construction of facilities related to fracking projects directly in the park. It does not prohibit drilling projects from being authorised just outside the protected areas. This allows operators to drill horizontally under them, thereby putting these restricted areas at risk.

The legislation also includes a ban on fracking within the European nature protection zones, the so-called Natura-2000 areas, but this only covers the construction of facilities related to shale gas and coal bed methane projects. In other words, other kinds of tight gas or oil development involving the use of fracking would be allowed. Tight gas is usually extracted from sandstone or limestone layers. The ongoing lobbying of the oil and gas industry has been so sucessfull that the German government has even re-branded sandstone and limestone layers as “conventional layers’ in order to creat the artificial term of “conventional fracking” – which helps tight gas fracking bypass the otherwise applicable ban.

Furthermore, an official request to the German government revealed that Germany provides public funding of €4.75 million towards the above-mentioned fracking research projects.

With this policy, the German government undermines its own goal of being a climate protection leader.

Read the full article…

January 22nd, 2018

Ready, Steady, 2018: What Food & Water Europe Will Fight for in the Coming Year

By Frida Kieninger, David Sánchez and Andy Gheorghiu

In 2017 we worked hard to change things for the better – fighting for sustainable agriculture, public water, better trade agreements, and clean energy solutions. The past year was a tough one seeing U.S. President Trump’s destructive decisions on social, energy and environmental issues and another series of devastating disasters linked to climate change. Nevertheless, now more than ever we are motivated to make 2018 a successful year for our beautiful fragile planet. Can we count on you?

Read the full article…

July 3rd, 2017

How Our Fossil Fuel Addiction is Ruining Our Oceans

By Taylor Avery of Food & Water Watch

Across the globe, people purchase about 20,000 plastic bottles every second. The vast majority of these bottles are not recycled and end up in landfills or in the ocean. It’s escalating into a major environmental crisis, and the fossil fuel industry is partially to blame.

While many of these bottles are made out of polyethylene terephthalate (PET), a highly recyclable material, efforts to recycle fail to keep up with the growing rate at which people use plastic bottles. Moreover, major food corporations continue to manufacture demand for soda and bottled water, packaged mainly in plastic, which takes hundreds of years to decompose.

In 2010, nearly 200 coastal countries generated over 275 million tons of plastic waste. In 2016, 480 billion tons of plastic drinking bottles were sold across the world. A report conducted by the National Association for PET Container Resources (NAPCOR) found only about 30 percent of PET bottles in the U.S. (most bottled water bottles) were recycled in 2015. Major drink brands like Coca-Cola produce the greatest number of plastic bottles, but the top six beverage companies package their products in bottles that use very little recycled PET. That mostly unrecycled plastic ends up in the ocean where it is consumed by wildlife.

Read the full article…

August 11th, 2016

Reversing The Tide: Spain Moves Into Water Remunicipalization

By David Sánchez

Food and Water Europe El Agua No Es NegocioJust one year ago we were arguing about how Spain was still resisting the last wave of water privatization, as a result of austerity policies and debt, seasoned with corruption scandals.

But as a result of the local and regional elections a year ago, the tide changed. As a reaction to the long-term crisis, attacks to public services and corruption in traditional parties, many citizen movements organized to run for the elections, with great success in Madrid, Barcelona, Zaragoza, Ferrol, Santiago, Cádiz, Coruña and Valencia, among others.

One of the key achievements of those movements was to introduce in the public sphere the debate on how to manage public services, like water. By the end of 2015, 57 percent of the population in Spain received their tap water from a private operator. One of the most worrying consequences is that more than 500,000 families receive water cut off warnings every year, according to data from the Spanish public water companies association.

Read the full article…

June 28th, 2016

Assessment of the Impacts of TTIP on Health, Environment and Human Rights

By Frida Kieninger

Say no to TTIPWhen negotiating major trade agreements, the European Commission seeks formal input about the impact of these agreements on the economy, human rights and the environment. It does so by commissioning a Sustainability Impact Assessment. For the ongoing negotiations about the EU-US trade deal, the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), they entrusted Ecorys with this task. The consulting company just recently published its draft Interim Technical Report on the Sustainability Impact Assessment (SIA).

We had a closer look at this report and there are several things in it that we are quite concerned about.

Read the full article…

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:

Read the full article…

December 10th, 2015

Science Fiction in a Fish – GM Salmon Is NOT Food

FoodandWaterEuropeObamaCANStopGMSalmonBy Eve Mitchell

You’d be forgiven for missing the news, but the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) approved AquaBounty’s genetically modified (GM) salmon for human consumption few days ago.

We’re fighting to get that decision revoked. You can help. In case natural revulsion isn’t enough of a prompt, a few reminders:

It’s a serious environmental hazard

Read the full article…

December 4th, 2015

Paris By Night – But Then Different

By Geert Decock

Global Frackdown to ParisI arrived on Thursday afternoon in Paris. As a tourist to Paris, you are faced with the impossible decision about which places to visit first: Eiffel tower, Arc de Triomphe, Champs Elysees… the list is endless and well-known. With the terrorist attacks fresh in my memory, my first visit was to the Bataclan club in the lively 11th district of Paris to pay my respect to the victims. I also biked past Place de la République where a lot of political demonstrations in France start, as the statues on the square symbolize the three key principles – liberty, equality and fraternity – of the French republic. As you can see from the pictures, the memory of the attacks is still very fresh… thousands of flowers and candles commemorate the victims.

Read the full article…


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