March 12th, 2018

More Than 80 Organisations Ask the European Parliament to Stop Supporting Gas Infrastructure

By Frida Kieninger and Antoine T

For the first time, on March 14, Members of the European Parliament will have the opportunity to have their say on the European Union’s list of “Projects of Common Interest” (PCI List), a list of energy infrastructure projects that the EU wants to support and that is adopted every two years by the European Commission.

Despite being the first PCI List adopted after the ratification of the Paris Agreement by the EU, this list keeps ignoring the urgency to fight climate change and contains over 100 fossil fuel projects. Gas infrastructure projects on this list will be granted the highest national priority status and will be able to receive public funds.

Thanks to 82 MEPs from five political groups (Greens-EFA, GUE, EFDD, S&D and ALDE), an objection to this PCI List has been put on the agenda of the next plenary session of the European Parliament.

Over 80 organisations urged Members of European Parliament to adopt this resolution objecting to the PCI List in its current form and asking the European Commission to draft a new list truly compatible with the Paris Agreement.

 

Download the letter as a pdf (in English, in French, in German, in Italian and in Spanish) or read it here:

 

Dear Member of the European Parliament,

 

We are writing to you concerning an infrastructure priority list (list of Projects of Common Interest). An objection to the current form of the list will be voted in the next Plenary Session of the European Parliament in March and you will have the opportunity to support this objection.

We want to raise your awareness for this priority list since it will grant highest national importance to over 100 fossil fuel projects.

While the list contains also electricity projects, there is a very high amount of fossil gas projects on it. If these costly projects are realized, they risk undermining the achievement of the Global Paris Climate Agreement that the EU ratified in 2016. Fossil gas, or “natural” gas emits significant amounts of CO2 when it is burned and leaks methane, a powerful greenhouse gas over 87 times more potent than CO2.[1]

Thus, gas is not a climate solution and a prioritization of this fossil fuel threatens to aggravate climate change.[2]

The priority list aims at adding 100+ gas infrastructure projects to the European gas network and at making these projects eligible for funding with EU tax-payers money.[3] However, there is in most cases no need for more pipelines, compressor stations and gas terminals: There are soaring overcapacities in most Member States and many idle installations. Gas infrastructure is designed to operate for 40, 50 or more years and a gas priority list strongly risks creating important stranded assets. The costs for this expensive, unneeded infrastructures risk being carried by European citizens.

The European Parliament is not involved in the development of this list, and there is a clear lack of transparency concerning the selection of projects. This is highly problematic, particularly since the defining actor in designing this priority list is the gas industry itself.[4] This serious conflict of interest leads to a list of projects which is clearly out of touch with existing needs and the climate reality.

The objection to the list gives a mandate to the EC to change its list of gas projects, but not the other projects. It aims at protecting projects that truly support a transition towards 100% renewables and energy efficiency.

We therefore urge you to object to the list in its current form and ask the Commission to draft a new list in line with European climate and energy targets.

 

Sincerely,

Friends of the Earth Europe

Food & Water Europe

 

On behalf of:

 

Pan-European organizations:

350.org, Europe

Clean Adriatic Sea Alliance

Climate Action Network (CAN)

Corporate Europe Observatory

Counter Balance

EKOenergy

Green Budget Europe

Greenpeace EU

HEAL – Health and Environment Alliance

Justice and Environment

The Gastivists Collective

Transport & Environment

International organizations

Oil Change International

Transnational Institute (TNI)

European organizations:

Austria

Attac Austria

Finance & Trade Watch

GLOBAL 2000

“System Change, not Climate Change!”

Croatia

Greenpeace Croatia

Jadranski zid, Split

Nonprofit civic initiative NAŠ Jadran

Zaustavimo TTIP

Zelena akcija/Friends of the Earth Croatia

Finland

Friends of the Earth Finland – Maan ystävät

France

Attac France

Collectif contre le gazoduc transfrontalier STEP MidCat

L’association PIERREDOMACHAL

Les Amis de la Terre

Germany

Abgefrackt Bündnis Weidener Becken gegen Fracking

Aktionsbündnis No Moor Fracking

Arbeitskreis Fracking Braunschweiger Land

Berliner Wassertisch

BI Gemeinsam gegen Gas- und Probebohrungen am Niederrhein

Bund für Umwelt und Naturschutz (BUND)

Bürgerinitiative FrackingFreies Hamburg

Bürgerinitiative gegen CO2-Endlager e.V.

BürgerInneninitiative Umweltschutz Uelzen

Deutsche Umwelthilfe (DUH), Germany Energy Watch Group

FAIRändern e.V.

Frackloses Gasbohren im Landkreis Rotenburg

Leave it in the Ground Initiative (LINGO)

Hungary

Clean Air Action Group

Ireland

FÍS NUA

Fracking Free Ireland

Friends of the Earth Ireland

Keep Ireland Fracking Free

Not Here, Not Anywhere

People’s Climate Clare

Safety Before LNG

Italy

Legambiente Onlus

Luxemburg

Friends of the Earth Luxembourg, Mouvement Ecologique

Netherlands

Friends of the Earth Netherlands, Milieudefensie

Poland

Polski Klub Ekologiczny/Friends of the Earth Poland

Portugal

ZERO – Associação Sistema Terrestre Sustentável

Slovenia

Focus Association for Sustainable Development

Spain

350BCN

Amigos de la Tierra

Asociación de Cultura Popular Alborada

Associació de Naturalistes de Girona

Berriztu, Basque Country

Comité Cidadán de Emerxencia da Ría de Ferrol, Galicia

Ecologistas en Acción

Fracking Ez, Basque Country

Instituto Internacional de Derecho y Medio Ambiente (IIDMA)

No Mes Gas Barcelona

Observatorio Crítico de la Energía

Observatori del Deute en la Globalització

Plataforma Cantabria por lo Público y Sin Recortes

Plataforma Ciudadana Zaragoza sin Fractura

Plataforma por un Nuevo Modelo Energético

Plataforma Resposta al Midcat

Xarxa per la Sobirania Energètica

Sweden

Fossilgasfällan

PUSH Sweden

Switzerland

fossil-free.ch

UK

Friends of the Earth England, Wales and Northern Ireland

Platform

Reclaim the Power

UK Youth Climate Coalition

non-European organizations

North Country 350 Alliance, New York, USA

The Upper Valley Affinity Group, Vermont, USA

 

[1] https://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/assessment-report/ar5/wg1/WG1AR5_Chapter08_FINAL.pdf

[2] https://www.research.manchester.ac.uk/portal/en/publications/natural-gas-and-climate-change(c82adf1f-17fd-4842-abeb-f16c4ab83605).html

[3] http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/en/TXT/?uri=CELEX:32013R1316

[4] For more information on this issue: http://www.foeeurope.org/sites/default/files/extractive_industries/2017/entso-g_fossil_free_europe_report_vfinal.pdf

 

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