Blog Posts: Europe

February 28th, 2018

Frack Off, Ineos: UK Doesn’t Want Fracking for Plastics

by Andy Gheorghiu

Amazing! Inspiring! Unifying! Empowering! Hopeful!

These would be the words I would choose if I’d have to describe my impressions about the “Ineos, Fracking and You” speakers tour that took place in Yorkshire and Derbyshire, North England, in February 2018 — a tour that gave me the opportunity to meet and work with fantastic campaigners and activists (Tony Bosworth, Chris Crean, Simon Bowens and Pollyanna Steiner from FoE EWNI, Steve Mason from Frack Free United, Kit Bennet from Frack Free York, Carol Hutchinson and Dave Kesteven from Eckington Against Fracking, Peter Roberts from Frack Free Ryedale, Matthew Trevelyan from Farmers Against Fracking, Eddie Thornton and Leigh Coghill from the Kirby Misperton Protection Camp as well as Bishop Graham Gray and many many more).

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February 5th, 2018

This Land is Our Land: The Fight to Stop Ineos from Fracking the UK

 The petrochemical giant that wants to frack to make plastic is meeting intense local opposition

by Andy Gheorghiu

The secretive chemical company Ineos has been leading the charge to bring the environmentally destructive method of drilling, known as fracking, to the United Kingdom (UK) and mainland Europe. The company’s goal is to produce cheap gas for its own plastics and petrochemical production. But the company is running into massive public opposition.

The first blow for Ineos came last year, when the Scottish Government voted for an indefinite moratorium on fracking – a proper, democratically supported move that has nonetheless prompted Ineos to launch a legal challenge against it.

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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?

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January 16th, 2018

European Activists Invited to Talk About Opposition to Gas Infrastructure in the European Parliament

If you are around Brussels this month, you are more than welcome to participate in our event on 22 January, bringing the voices of anti-gas infrastructure activists to the European Parliament. The event will take place from 13:30-14:30 in room PHS 01C051.

Why is Gas on the EU-Parliament’s Agenda this Month?

On the following day, Tuesday 23 January, the European Commission will talk to Members of Parliament about a new priority list for gas and electricity projects. Food & Water Europe followed the establishment of this list carefully and heavily criticises it because:

  • It is too focused on fossil fuel (gas) infrastructure to the detriment of renewables.
  • Support for subsidizing gas projects is not in line with the goals laid out in the Paris Climate Agreement.
  • It is marked by conflicts of interest due to heavy industry involvement.
  • It incentivises the misuse of public money for unneeded fossil fuel projects will end up as stranded assets.

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January 2nd, 2018

Five Unneeded, Costly, Climate Killing Fossil Fuels Projects

A Journey to the EU ‘Priority Projects’

By Frida Kieninger

On November 24, the European Union Climate Action and Energy Commissioner Miguel Arias Cañete presented a list of priority gas infrastructure projects, known as the Projects of Common Interest (PCI). While he claimed proudly that this year’s list shows a shift away from gas, a simple question about the real number of gas projects on the list suggests that this is not true.

In fact, the EU-Commission tried to artificially decrease the number of fossil gas projects with a simple accounting trick, by clustering projects. When counting this year’s list in the same way as the last two PCI lists, it contains even more gas projects than ever before.

A total of over 90 gas infrastructure projects will be on the 2017 PCI list. All of them are costly, unneeded fossil fuel infrastructure, which will curb much-needed investments in clean energy and energy saving measures.

Read the full article…

December 18th, 2017

Meet the European Petrochemical Giant Trying to Profit from the Fracking of Pennsylvania

The Controversial Mariner East 2 Pipeline Would Carry Gas Liquids for Plastics Production Overseas

By Wenonah Hauter

It seems that every week brings more bad news about the construction of Sunoco’s Mariner East 2 pipeline. While Pennsylvania communities, water protectors and landowners fight to stop the project, a larger question remains: What is this massive, dangerous pipeline actually for? The one word answer might surprise you: plastics.

The Mariner East 2 won’t carry “natural gas” for heating your house or operating a stove. It will transport highly volatile liquids that will mostly be shipped overseas to be turned into plastics by a giant chemical corporation with a terrible environmental record.

Ineos’s pro-fracking agenda has spawned a citizen movement in Europe, where residents are fighting to prevent the company’s plans to frack the United Kingdom.

In other words, Sunoco and its parent company Energy Transfer Partners are putting Pennsylvania communities at risk—from the immediate negative impacts of fracking in the western parts of the state, to the long-term risks to families living near the 350-mile pipeline—in order to supply a giant corporation making plastic pellets, many of which wind up littering shorelines across Europe.

My organization, Food & Water Watch, has been digging deep into Ineos, the massive chemical conglomerate profiting from the fracked gas liquids out of Pennsylvania. Ineos founder and chairman Jim Ratcliffe amassed his petrochemical empire in short order, thanks to risky bets and highly leveraged takeovers and acquisitions. The Mariner East 2 pipeline represents one more dangerous Ineos “innovation”—it delivers fracked hydrocarbons to the Marcus Hook facility near Philadelphia, where they are loaded onto the company’s “dragon ships” headed to facilities in Scotland and Norway.

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December 12th, 2017

Fighting Big Oil and Gas in Northern Germany

by Andy Gheorghiu and Frida Kieninger

Photo by: Christian Eckhardt

Natural gas plant near Großenkneten
Photo by: Christian Eckhardt

On 2 December, a number of German citizens’ initiatives[1] met with Food & Water Europe in Hamburg to discuss oil and gas exploration in the country and strategies for the coming year.

The main points discussed were planned exploration in a water protection area in Verden, Lower Saxony, an international project by Hansa Hydrocarbons to drill for gas in the North Sea (nearby the Wadden Sea), and the construction of a terminal to import liquefied natural gas (LNG) in Brunsbüttel port.

New drilling in a water protection area?

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December 7th, 2017

Global Frackdown 2017: Letters from Mexico

Anti-fracking event VeracruzMexico has been identified as having significant shale oil and gas potential and the Mexican government appears keen to develop its shale resources.

Meanwhile, more and more Mexicans are becoming aware of the dangers of fracking and are mobilizing to oppose plans to sell off clean air and water as well as healthy communities to the incessant greed for profit of big oil and gas companies.

Read the full article…

November 29th, 2017

Up to the Last Drop: The Secret Water War in Europe

By David Sánchez

Water is a human right and a common good. But it is also one of the main focuses of transnational corporations that want to profit from this scarce resource. The struggle to defend public water is now exposed in the new documentary Up to the Last Drop: The Secret Water War in Europe.

For decades, corporations have pushed for the privatization of public services – including water. In Europe, several attempts supported by the European Commission have been launched since the neoliberal wave of the 90s. Still, today some of the countries affected by the austerity crisis – Ireland, Greece, Portugal – are resisting water privatization imposed by the Troika. Water has been on the negotiation table of the new wave of free trade agreements like TTIP and TISA, and is included in CETA, which contains several provisions that put public water management and water resources under international trade and investment mechanisms.

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November 28th, 2017

Ireland’s Clean Energy Revolution Won’t Be Helped by LNG Imports

By Andy Gheorghiu

PHOTO CC-BY-SA © PLINE / COMMONS.WIKIMEDIA.ORG

Ireland has been through quite some rough economic times in the aftermath of the financial crunch. But the Irish are natural born fighters and will never easily give in. They also have deep and strong bond to the lands and the waters that host and feed them.

No wonder that – despite the economic struggles they were facing and oil and gas industry promises of jobs and prosperity – the Irish didn’t buy in, but rather fought back.

Instead of believing the shale hype, Ireland opted for the only true path that is able to combine environmental protection, climate action and a boost for the econonmy: in the Summer of 2017, the Green Island banned fracking.

Previously, in January 2017, the Irish Dàil had voted in favour of divesting coal, oil and gas holdings from the €8 billion Ireland Strategic Investment Fund.

But now, at the most decisive moment for Ireland’s transition into a post-fossil fuel future, an absurd debate about the realisation of two unneeded LNG import terminals at Shannon & Cork returns.

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