Netherlands – Fracked Gas Imports: Briefing

Imports of U.S. liquid gas into the Netherlands soared in 2022, representing 59% of total LNG imports and 34% of total gas consumption in the country – and almost all of it comes from fracking. In order to avoid climate catastrophe, Europe and the Netherlands should decrease their dependence on U.S. fracked gas as fast as possible.

Fossil gas, no matter its origin, is no solution for Europe. Russian gas has proven to be synonymous for supply insecurity and weaponization of the EU’s dirty energy dependency. The EU’s aim to get off Russian gas could be a big chance to accelerate a just transition. So far, however, EU-leaders and European governments have chosen to go into the wrong direction embracing LNG as a dirty fix, while largely ignoring real solutions. Simply moving Europe’s gas addiction from Russia to LNG imports is a big problem. This briefing takes a closer look at fossil gas imports from the U.S., which are almost entirely fracked.

Read the full briefing here

The European Parliament’s Plenary Adopts a Good Position on the EU Methane Regulation, But Concerns Persist. 


MethaneFossil Fuels

On Tuesday, May 9, the European Parliament’s plenary adopted its position on the EU methane regulation proposal

This is a good result, considering the plenary’s vote had been overshadowed by the threat of the adoption of some worrying amendments from some MEPs in the EPP and ID (European People’s Party and Identity and Democracy) groups. These would have dramatically weakened key elements of the report as adopted in the European Parliament’s ITRE (Energy) and ENVI (Environment) committees at the end of April, by favouring the interests of the fossil fuel industry through weakening provisions on leak detection and repair (LDAR) and energy imports. 

Fortunately, this did not happen. In its position, the European Parliament calls on the European Commission to set binding targets to reduce methane emissions for 2030 and implements strict rules on imported fossil gas, coal and oil from 2026 onwards. Additionally, the parliament’s position extends the provisions of the regulation to the petrochemical sector, which is becoming the largest driver of global oil demand. 

Let’s not sweep problems under the rug

Although this is a very good outcome, some concerns spoil the party:

  • No mention of fossil fuel phase-out

In the Parliament’s text there is no mention of a phase-out of fossil fuels in the longer term. Contrary to what signatories asked for in our methane manifesto, rapid actions to cut methane emissions from fossil fuels are crucial in the short-term, but these need to be coupled with strong commitments towards a path to deliver a fossil-free European Union. In 2021, the European Parliament in its INI report on the EU Methane Strategy, clearly recognised that fossil fuels have no long-term role in the Union’s energy mix. But this is not reflected in the final parliamentary position adopted this week. 

  • No fracked gas import ban

The EU Parliament’s request for stricter measures on imports is an important step forward compared to the Commission and Council’s positions, but a clear focus on the need to stop imports of fracked gas is missing. Most of the U.S. Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) exported to Europe is produced by fracking, a technology which is banned across much of the EU due to its environmental impacts. Fracking is closely tied to the rise of methane emissions in the atmosphere, besides posing a serious threat to public health and local communities. However, U.S. fracked gas imports to Europe skyrocketed after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the European Parliament had the opportunity in its report to call for an immediate ban on those imports.  

  • Major loopholes for coal mine methane emissions

Following strong pressure from the Polish coal industry, the European Parliament revised downwards its ambition on coal mine methane emissions. However, coal mines are the largest single source of energy sector methane emissions in the EU.

Amendments adopted in plenary suggest an increase in venting thresholds for thermal coal, while action on venting from coking coal is delayed until 2031. The rules will allow Polish mining companies to easily comply with the regulation through accounting tricks rather than any actual methane reductions. 

  • There’s always danger lurking in the dark

The imminent start of trilogue negotiations in the summer with the Council and the European Commission are one more opportunity for the fossil fuel industry to scuttle these regulations. The Council’s general approach has more holes than Swiss cheese and blatantly benefits the interests of fossil companies. It will be vital to safeguard and strengthen the parliament’s position, and to ensure that the trilogue final text is not a lowball agreement, but one that truly serves the interests of the planet and the people. 

This is What Environmental Racism Looks Like.


LNGFossil FuelsDemocracy

Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine, U.S. political leaders have pledged to massively increase the fracked US gas exports to Europe. These moves will have grave implications for communities that are forced to live near the massive polluting facilities that liquify and ship fossil fuels across the Atlantic. 

But these frontline communities are ready to defend the health and safety of their communities. And one of the leaders in this fight traveled to the EU to spread the word.

John Beard, frontline community leader and leader of the Port Arthur Community Action Network in Port Arthur, Texas met EU decision makers in April, telling them how their decisions on US LNG imports have a real impact on the lives and health of people in the US. 

John lives in the “belly of the beast”–  a community that has been turned into a sacrifice zone, heavily impacted by the petrochemical industry and  large gas export facilities. 

While the EU must stop its dependence on Russia, the bloc must not exchange one dangerous dependency with another one, which is harming communities in the US. US gas has been cynically dubbed  “Freedom Gas,” but it is clear that many of those impacted by fossil gas export plans are suffering misery including poverty, health impacts and the aggravating impacts of climate change that are disproportionately affecting them.

The “belly of the beast”

John and his community live in the immediate vicinity of petrochemical facilities and next to a massive terminal to export liquefied fossil gas: the gigantic Sabine Pass LNG terminal. In 2022, around 40% of all US LNG vessels to Europe started their journey right there, in Sabine Pass. It’s not rare that John wakes up to see mysterious chemical grains covering the grass, finds himself in the middle of a plume, or fears that fossil gas leaks in his house but discovers that it is a chemical stench originating outside. John never knows which will be the next chemical he finds in his garden or on his car. It is not unusual for him to see massive flares of gas, topped with pitch-black clouds, or eerily yellow clouds containing sulfur dioxide, a chemical corroding our lungs, in his community.

“People of color are hurt the most and helped the least” 

“People of color are hurt the most and helped the least,” says John –  who knows that in his community,  a large majority of the population are people of color. The environmental racism and injustice is visible in almost all the communities heavily impacted by polluting industries in the region, both up and down the coast. Communities with poor, indigenous people and people of color are deemed as the “path of least resistance” by corporate polluters.

Now there are several additional LNG export terminals that are planned just a handful of kilometers away from John’s community, despite all the harm people there are already suffering. Giant polluters like Sempra, Cheniere and ExxonMobile plan to expand the LNG export business, on the back of communities like Port Arthur – all because they claim Europe needs the gas.

The luxury of living and breathing

These are devastating news for a region which, despite over $80 billion of industrial investment, sees a high unemployment rate, inhumanely low wages and plummeting property values. This makes it extremely difficult for many people wanting nothing but the luxury of “living and breathing” and to live a healthier life. Those who have to stay suffer from a multitude of illnesses. Black people in Port Arthur have a 40% higher risk to contract cancer than elsewhere in the country.

Port Arthur is the place where much of Europe’s US LNG comes from . But this is only a fraction of the suffering caused by our gas greed: Many more communities impacted by LNG and fracking and massive fossil infrastructure are forced to sacrifice the right to drink clean water and breathe clean air.

It doesn’t have to be this way. The good news is that truly clean solutions are ready for us. We just need the political will to get started and to be able to meet people like John without that burning feeling of guilt.

Representatives from Food & Water Action Europe and EU Parliamentarian Marie Toussaint met John Beard in the EU Parliament

30+ CSOs are calling for a bold EU Methane Regulation away from fossil fuel interests



Over 30 CSOs from across Europe have sent an open letter to the ENVI and ITRE members of the European Parliament ahead of the joint committee vote on the EU methane regulation proposal.

We ask the ENVI and ITRE committees to adopt an ambitious position on the text away from fossil fuel industry interests.

We have witnessed in the last months worrying attempts to water down the legislative proposal, it is crucial that the arguments and narratives put forward by the fossil fuel industry to dilute the methane regulation do not find room in the European Parliament’s position.

We urge you to deliver a methane regulation that takes effective and rapid measures to cut methane emissions associated with imported fossil fuels. This is why we ask to extend domestic provisions on Monitoring Reporting and Verification (MRV), Leak Detection and Repair (LDAR), and Limits on Venting and Flaring (LVF) to EU energy imports along the entire supply chain. Legal studies have already pointed out that this is feasible, and it is not in conflict with WTO rules.

It is vital for the people and the planet to drastically reduce methane emissions while working to implement comprehensive plans to phase out fossil fuels, especially fossil gas by 2035.

You can read the joint letter here.


Power To The People Conference – A Future Without Fossil Fuels

A week of protests and discussions in Vienna, on the occasion of the annual European Gas Conference

At the end of March, Vienna turned into the EU capital of fossil gas. At the European Gas Conference, the major oil and gas companies sat around a VIP table with regulators, decision-makers and investors to keep the fossil fuel business alive. Behind closed doors in a five-star hotel, the fossil fuel industry discussed lucrative new dirty gas deals, heedless of the devastating impacts their choices will have and already have on people and the planet. 

But not all the action was inside that hotel.

Outside the conference venue, people shouted slogans and songs to express their indignation and anger. Thousands peacefully marched against the fossil fuel industry’s plans to gasify the future. Throughout the conference, activists organised various actions in Vienna and near the city to demand that fossil fuel companies halt their climate-wrecking activities.

Protests outside the European Gas Conference’s Venue, Vienna
Power To The People – A Way Out Of Fossil Fuels Dependency 

How can we secure a bottom-up clean alternative to a polluting neocolonial energy system? This was the crucial question of the Power to the People’ Counter Conference. In the days in the run-up to the European Gas Conference, Food & Water Action Europe (FWAE), along with hundreds of activists, discussed the horrific climate and social impacts of fossil gas. During three days, we gathered in a counter conference to exchange about energy companies’ plan to continue investing in fossil projects, such as pipelines and LNG terminals, and their push to promote false solutions to lock us into further dependence on fossil fuels.

A photo from the session – The push for new gas and hydrogen: the corporate agenda behind the European Gas Conference

We also heard the voices of communities that suffer most from the extraction of fossil gas and oil. Activists from the Don’t Gas Africa campaign shared stories of their resistance to gas drilling and fracking and infrastructure projects in the continent. The dash for gas in Africa forces people to repeatedly resettle, often affecting indigenous and the most vulnerable communities. Drilling and fracking is also a continuation of colonialism, and much of the gas that is extracted in different parts of Africa is exported to Europe or involves European companies. The same colonial extractivist logic and narratives also affects South America. Activists from Colombia told us about the fight against big oil and gas companies that violate and displace communities, especially rural communities, while destroying fragile and vital ecosystems.  

It is clear that the climate crisis and other ecological crises can only be solved by addressing systemic inequalities. Activists from Iran, Kurdistan and Afghanistan reminded us during the counter conference how patriarchal societies, capitalist exploitation, and the destruction of the environment go hand in hand. The fossil economy also fuels social injustice in the western European continent and western world, where the cost of living crisis is hitting low-income households the hardest.

The message from the conference is clear: fossil fuels means war, social injustice, human, environmental and climate destruction, and profits in the hands of the few. The fossil fuel industry is putting all of us in harm’s way – but just, clean and cheaper solutions already exist. It’s time to act now before it’s too late. We must start by putting power back into the hands of the people – or just like the Don’t Gas Africa participants put it: Amandla! Awethu! (Power! It’s Ours!, in the Xhosa language of South Africa)


Check some of the many actions that happened in and around Vienna in March here:

Joint Letter by 40+ CSO Groups: No to Hydrogen Greenwashing of Fossil Gas Infrastructure

Over 40 CSO groups from across Europe have sent an open letter to the EU Commission. They are particularly concerned about the almost 150 large-scale hydrogen transport projects which have applied to receive Project of Common Interest (PCI) or Project of Mutual Interest (PMI) priority status via the PCI/PMI list.

According to the candidate project list provided in the public consultation:

  • 90% of the project candidates either openly aim at transporting fossil fuels-based hydrogen (60%) or fail to exclude fossil based hydrogen transport (30%);
  • A high number of proposed projects are either identical or similar to infrastructure projects that have been proposed for fossil gas transport in this form before, or are ‘classical’ fossil gas projects not even mentioning hydrogen. –
  • 90% of these projects have been proposed by the fossil fuel industry, most of them by ENTSO-G, a fossil gas transport industry umbrella body

Groups are worried that giant planned hydrogen infrastructures will promote the wasteful use of the scarce molecule. Vested fossil fuel interests risk creating a situation in which the PCI/PMI list becomes a priority list for polluters rather than people in Europe.
The signatories ask the EU Commission not support polluters greenwashing fossil gas pipelines through the PCI/PMI list and to protect Europe’s true common interest: real sustainability and energy security.

You can read the joint letter here.