Blog Posts: Fossil fuels

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 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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December 18th, 2015

European Parliament Asks: Can Fracking “Be A Viable Technology” in The EU?

By Geert Decock

Admittedly, political processes move slowly. But when it comes to the position of the European Parliament on plans to turn the European Union into an Energy Union, it was worth the wait, all ten months of it.

After the European Commission announced its ideas for an Energy Union, the Parliament decided to respond to these plans. We were all holding our breath, when we learned that a conservative right-wing Member of the European Parliament, Marek Józef Gróbarczyk, got appointed in March as a rapporteur and the pro-business Industry, Energy and Research Committee was going to handle the file. In the European Parliament, it is standard procedure for rapporteurs to write a first initial draft. After that, other Committee members can submit their amendments.

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December 17th, 2015

Looking Back at the Paris Agreement: A Ban on Fracking Was Never More Urgent

By Geert Decock

The Paris agreement on climate change is less than a week old, yet its contents have already been intensely analysed. Below, we want to share the top five analyses that we have read so far.

The Paris agreement and the promises by 196 governments do not offer any guarantee that the world will limit global warming to a safe level: Even if all parties kept their promises, “the planet would warm by an estimated […] 3.5 degrees Celsius, above preindustrial levels. And that is way, way too much,” says Bill McKibben of 350.org in the New York Times.

The Paris agreement offers too little, too late. “By comparison to what it could have been, it’s a miracle. By comparison to what it should have been, it’s a disaster. […} In fairness, the failure does not belong to the Paris talks, but to the whole process. […] The talks in Paris are the best there have ever been. And that is a terrible indictment,” says George Monbiot in The Guardian.

One of the main reasons why we remain deeply critical of the Paris agreement is one glaring omission in the text, as Food & Water Watch pointed out in its statement (also pointed out by Naomi Klein on her Twitter feed). How is it – after 21 years of climate summits – that we STILL cannot name the elephant in the room?

FoodandWaterEuropeNaomiKleinTwitterCop21

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