Greenlighting Greenwashing – Energy Priority List Greenlighted by MEPs today Resembles Fossil Fuel Industry Wishlist


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Brussels 12 March – Today, MEPs greenlighted the 6th PCI list during the Strasbourg plenary votes. The PCI list (Projects of Common Interest List, or Union List) is a collection of large energy infrastructure projects that obtain top EU priority, a streamlined environmental impact assessment, accelerated permitting  and access to EU subsidies.

The adoption of the list flies in the face of a needed phase out of fossil fuels, as a large number of the projects featuring on the PCI list are linked to fossil fuels:

  • 68 large hydrogen projects with a combined cost of €50-100 billion (see Food & Water Action Europe’s analysis here), all of which have been proposed and will be operated by the fossil fuel industry. Many of them are designed to carry fossil-based hydrogen, i.e. hydrogen generated with fossil gas or other fossil fuels.
  • The 14 CO2 transport projects  aim to promote a Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) market in the EU. But CCS is plagued with a high number of failed and/or abandoned projects, While promoting the dubious hope that removing CO2 from the atmosphere will one day be technically feasible, the technology is mostly embraced by the fossil fuel industry as a means to prolong their climate-wrecking business-model, and is used to dismiss calls for an urgent phase out of all fossil fuels.
  • Two highly controversial fossil gas pipeline projects are featured: the contested EastMed pipeline, planned to connect gas fields in disputed waters offshore Cyprus with Greece, and the Melita TransGas pipeline between Malta and Sicily, which is linked to the murder of journalist Daphne Galizia Caruana.

Over 60 civil society groups from across Europe have called on EU parliamentarians to reject the PCI list: These projects risk becoming stranded assets while helping the fossil fuel industry to stay rich by selling false solutions.” 

These PCI projects do not support a just transition, quite the opposite: They deliver a pretext for the fossil fuel industry to continue polluting while claiming to move to ‘clean’ hydrogen and to projects allegedly capturing CO2. The planet is plagued by increasingly violent impacts of climate change – it is shocking how MEPs fall for false solutions proposed by the fossil fuel industry, which will lock Europe into continued fossil fuel dependence”, says Frida Kieninger, Director of EU Affairs at Food & Water Action Europe.

John Beard from Port Arthur, Texas, community leader who lives at the frontline of climate change and the epicenter of US Liquefied ‘Natural’ Gas (LNG) export, is meeting MEPs in Strasbourg this week to talk about the human face of the LNG boom. The US is the biggest exporter of LNG to the EU, with Port Arthur LNG having supplied 28% of the total volumes of US LNG that reached EU shores in 2023.

It is disheartening to see EU decision makers agreeing once more to a lock-in of the EU into dirty fossil fuels infrastructures. The lives and health of long suffering communities already overburdened by the petrochemical industry, are being sacrificed by the industry.

We are the sacrifice.

This decision will lock in the EU’s fossil fuel dependency and therefore, pushing for continued fossil gas demand. A big part of this gas will be exported from the US, directly from impacted communities like mine in Port Arthur.” says John Beard, Founder of the Port Arthur Community Action Network (PACAN).

“For you LNG might represent a simple energy source, but for us it means more illness and death from high cancer rates, human rights violations, and more racial injustice”.

It is a death sentence, just another nail in the coffin.

The adoption of the PCI list in the form of a delegated act means that the last obstacle to its entering into force has been removed. The projects can now apply for Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) money and benefit from the advantages that come with PCI status.

MEPs rejected the objection to the 6th PCI list with 131 voting for, 431 voting against it and 35 abstaining.