Advocacy Groups Release Legal Resource for Fighting Fossil Fuel Projects

New toolkit helps clarify EU legislation to challenge exploration and extraction of hydrocarbons

New toolkit helps clarify EU legislation to challenge exploration and extraction of hydrocarbons
BrusselsFood & Water Europe – with the pro bono support of The Good Lobby – has released today the 1st guide through the jungle of European environmental legislation for activists and non-governmental organisations that oppose fossil fuel projects.

The Hydrocarbons Toolkit provides legal arguments for activists in the European Union (EU) against the exploration and extraction of hydrocarbons in general (and shale gas/oil, tight gas/oil and coal-bed methane in particular) by referring to relevant articles of existing and binding EU law. It explains in accessible language the most relevant directives and regulations that are applicable to the exploration and extraction of hydrocarbons.

More precisely, the toolkit discusses the individual pieces of legislation along the hydraulic fracturing process, starting from prior assessments to liability. For each Directive/Regulation it discusses the goal and scope, the most relevant provisions, limitations, and the general line of argument that activists and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) can use to challenge the exploration and extraction of hydrocarbons. Case law is discussed where relevant. Lastly, the toolkit establishes the procedural steps that citizens and/or organisations can take to contest a certain project on the EU level.

“Despite the abundant scientific evidence that methane emissions from oil and gas extraction in general and from shale oil and gas in particular are a significant driver of climate change, the EU Commission and Member States are nonetheless pushing for more unneeded gas projects in Europe,” says Andy Gheorghiu, Policy Advisor for Food & Water Europe. “Since we all know that we need to act quick to prevent the worst outcomes of global warming, we want to give activists free legal advice on how they could possibly fight these fossil fuel projects.”

“Alberto Alemanno, director of The Good Lobby”, says “this project epitomizes the importance of intensified collaboration between academics, professionals and EU civil society organisations. This tool-kit will guide future infirmed and evidence-based advocacy in the field so as to gain policymakers’ respect and trust. As such, it is a model for future co-operation”.

In one glance, NGOs or activists can see which regulations may provide legal arguments to fight oil and gas exploration/extraction projects in their countries. For more extensive information on the exact obligations and possible limitations of these regulations, download the toolkit here.

Contact: Andy Gheorghiu, Food & Water Europe, agheorghiu(at), Giacomo Delinavelli, The Good Lobby, Giacomo(at)


The Good Lobby is a skill-based volunteering network that makes European academics, legal professionals and students available on a pro bono basis to support non-governmental organisations working on key social and political issues at the European level. The Good Lobby does not engage in any actual lobby. It supports legal and policy advocacy carried out by NGOs across Europe, it fosters pro bono collaborations, it carries out advocacy training, and we connect communities of public interest actors.