How Europe Can Rapidly Reduce Methane Emissions and Phase Out Fossil Fuels


Fossil Fuels


Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is having a dramatic impact on the lives of millions, exacerbating the energy price crisis and the energy precarity problem for households across Europe.

However, Europe’s attempts to help end the war by weaning itself off Russian energy imports must not contradict the necessary and urgent need to transition away from climate-wrecking fossil fuels. In this context, the European Commission’s REPowerEU plan fails to effectively break with dirty energy sources of the past and risks overlooking the powerful role that methane emissions play in exacerbating climate change.

Fossil fuel emissions are responsible for global warming, and methane along with carbon dioxide (CO2) and other greenhouse gases (GHGs) are cooking our planet, and our home, to above melting point.

Methane, in particular, has a Global Warming Potential (GWP) that is 84-86 times greater than carbon dioxide over a 20-year period. It is the main component of fossil gas and its concentration in the atmosphere is nearly three times greater than pre-industrial levels. In 2021 alone, energy-related methane emissions rose globally by nearly 5% and it is totally our fault!

To keep global heating below 1.5°C, in line with the Paris Agreement, slashing methane emissions in the short-term is vital but is not enough. Addressing methane emissions does not make fossil gas and oil clean, and it must not divert from a long-term target that phases out fossil fuels altogether.

This is why we call on decision-makers to drastically improve the European Commission’s Methane Regulation proposal in order to deliver a fossil free European Union by 2035 at the latest. The Regulation must include a reference to the implementation of clear and concrete plans to phase-out fossil fuels, as expressly asked by the European Parliament in its INI Report on the EU Methane Strategy. The plans must take into account national circumstances, raising ambition where possible and be transposed into national climate strategies as well as explicitly recalled in other legislative proposals to deliver a methane emissions reduction at the root source.

The Methane Manifesto is now open for signatures by individuals, civil society organizations, national and European decision-makers, scientists and academics(check the button below). Show us your support and help us spread the word! 

Sign the Manifesto

LNG – Der Flüssige Weg ins Klimachaos


Fossil Fuels


Hier geht’s zum LNG-Papier (Deutsch).

‘Liquefied Natural Gas’ (LNG) – Flüssigerdgas steht im Rampenlicht. Die Kosten für fossiles Gas steigen seit 2021 und die furchtbare Invasion der Ukraine durch russische Streitkräfte zwingt Regierungen sich mit der Frage zu befassen, wie die Abhängigkeit Europas von fossilen Energieträgern aus Russland beendet werden kann. Zusammen mit der Notwendigkeit so schnell wie möglich von fossilen Brennstoffen wegzukommen, um die Auswirkungen des Klimawandels zu begrenzen und die globale Erwärmung unter 1,5°C zu halten, haben diese Realitäten Aufregung um LNG erzeugt. Was jedoch ist LNG und warum ist es wichtig? Das vorliegende Papier ist als Warnung davor zu verstehen, was die Ausbreitung von LNG als vermeintliche Lösung für Fragen der Energiesicherheit in Europa anrichten könnte. Es wird zehn Hauptargumente anführen, die die zahlreichen Probleme aufzeigen, die LNG mit sich bringt.

Lesen Sie hier das LNG-Papier auf Deutsch

LNG: The Liquid Path to Climate Chaos


Fossil Fuels

10 reasons why liquified fossil gas is the wrong choice for Europe

Read full report here.

“Liquefied Natural Gas” (LNG) has been thrown into the spotlight. The cost of fossil gas has been rising since 2021 and the horrific invasion of Ukraine by Russian troops has forced governments to grapple with how to end Europe’s fossil fuel dependency on Russia. Together with the need to get off fossil fuels as soon as possible in order to mitigate the impacts of climate change and keep global warming to below 1,5 degrees, these realities have created a buzz around LNG. But what is LNG and why does it matter? This briefing looks to raise the alarm bell around the roll out of LNG across Europe as an attempt to tackle energy security concerns. It will put forward ten key arguments that showcase the host of problems LNG brings.

 The briefing has is also available in Croatian, Polish, Spanish and Galician, German, French and Greek

But first, an explanation of what LNG actually is. 

LNG simply refers to fossil gas which is transported not through pipelines in a gaseous form, but which is chilled to minus 162°C in order to be liquefied and transported large distances by ships. 

This means that when we talk about LNG in Europe, we are talking about gas that is extracted, converted into liquid form, shipped across an ocean, converted back into gaseous form, then pumped through the European gas grid to eventually heat and cool homes, and power industry activities. 

These LNG imports made up 20.5% of Europe’s fossil gas consumption in 20211 and with pressure to end imports of Russian gas, governments are looking to LNG from non-Russian sources to meet demand. 

Moves to get off Russian gas are necessary and urgent to help end the war in Ukraine by reducing the income Putin has for his war machine. Yet, we must also be cautious of letting short-term energy supply concerns lock Europe into long-term costly deals that trap consumers into more dirty fossil fuel infrastructure and energy dependencies in the future.

Long-term fossil gas use is incompatible with a safe climate and this needs to be the turning point when Europe moves away from fossil fuels once and for all. 

This briefing provides counterarguments to the overinflated role that LNG is being positioned to have in Europe’s energy future, and shows instead that this is a dangerous distraction from the just energy transition to renewables that is so desperately needed. 

Informe: El Sector Ganadero en el País Valenciano


Fossil Fuels

Una oportunidad para impulsar la producción extensiva y agroecológica

Leer el informe de Food & Water Action Europe y Amigos de la Tierra

El Estado español ha vivido en los últimos años una auténtica burbuja del sector porcino y, en menor medida, del sector aviar, también de producción intensiva. Se trata de un modelo de ganadería industrial integrado verticalmente, controlado por cada vez menos empresas y donde ganaderas y ganaderos ocupan un papel cada vez más marginal.

Esta burbuja se ha originado por la dependencia de los mercados internacionales de soja y maíz transgénicos y su orientación a la exportación a China y otros países del sudeste asiático como respuesta a la coyuntura económica global. Este modelo deja graves impactos en el territorio que afectan a la calidad de vida y la salud de las personas que viven en el medio rural, lo que ha desencadenado una de las mayores movilizaciones estatales que se recuerdan en pueblos y ciudades medianas.

Además, este sistema productivo es también uno de los principales emisores de gases de efecto invernadero.

En el País Valenciano el sistema integrado de ganadería se comenzó a implantar en la década de 1960 y tuvo su auge en los años ochenta. A pesar de ello, el territorio se ha mantenido, en cierta forma, ajeno a esta burbuja.

Actualmente —diciembre de 2021—, en un momento en el que China está recuperando su producción y se prevé una fuerte reestructuración del sector en los países productores, y en el que la crisis climática nos obliga a reducir el consumo de carne, es urgente que la Generalitat Valenciana tome medidas para proteger el sector ganadero tradicional, de pequeña escala y ligado al territorio, y para facilitar una transición justa hacia un modelo ganadero sostenible.

Unveiling the Costs of Future Fossil Gas Infrastructure


Fossil Fuels

The Trans European Energy Infrastructure regulation (TEN-E), defining the criteria and infrastructure categories for Projects of Common Interest (PCIs), is under revision. This briefing looks at both the ongoing revision process and the costs of the current PCI list (the fifth list) still governed by previous TEN-E rules.

It addresses the elephant in the room as it finds that fossil gas candidate projects on the fifth PCI list, up for selection by the end of the year, will cost more than €41billion. This stands in stark contrast with claims made at the highest political level that PCI projects need to support the “European Green Deal”. It is difficult to understand how this “European Green Deal” proofing can happen when billions of heavy fossil gas projects continue to be submitted to the PCI list and current but also future TEN-E criteria, such as sustainability, are not given number one priority.

To provide context to the revision of the TEN-E regulation we investigate the costs of the concurrent fifth PCI list process as well as using this candidate list to provide real examples of the ways in which the TEN-E revision may or may not be able to deliver a stop to continued funding for fossil gas projects in Europe.

Read the full briefing here.

Our analysis shows that loopholes for fossil gas under the fifth list, and the TEN-E revision, if not done right, could continue to channel millions into unneeded gas infrastructure and the fossil gas sector at large. We therefore urge policy makers to exclude all fossil gas projects from the current PCI list and deliver a TEN-E revision that ensures future PCI lists are fossil gas free – helping achieve a phase out of fossil gas in Europe by 2035 and limiting temperature increase to 1.5°C.

The economic data in this briefing has been taken from ENTSOG’s TYNDP assessment, supplemented with information provided by the project promoters during the April 2021 Regional PCI Meetings. The data might be an underestimation of the full impacts of each project.

Analysis of the ENTSOG TYNDP 2020 data shows that over 41billion (including OPEX and CAPEX) could be invested into fossil gas infrastructure across Europe. Infrastructure that is neither necessary, economically viable, nor climate-compatible.

You can find our Food & Water Action Europe comments on the insufficient sustainability assessment of these candidate projects here and the need for these projects here.

UPDATE: On The Inside: How the Gas Lobby Infiltrates EU Decision-Making on Energy


Fossil Fuels

Updated trans-European energy infrastructure (TEN-E) legislation is set to give an obscure gas industry body power over Europe’s energy future. Time to cut fossil fuels out of our politics.

2nd edition

Read the briefing here. 


The first edition of this briefing,1 in summer 2020, showed how the trans-European energy infrastructure (TEN-E) regulation has placed an obscure body advocating for vested gas industry interests at the heart of EU decision making on energy. It demonstrated that the biased advice of the European Network of Transmission System Operators for Gas (ENTSO-G) to the European Commission helped its own gas industry members benefit to the tune of €1.1 billion euros in taxpayer subsidies. The paper called on the European Commission to revise the TEN-E regulation to fully replace ENTSO-G, with a transparent, independent body free of all fossil fuel interests.

Since then, the European Commission (EC) has published its proposals to revise the TEN-E regulation. However, despite vocal civil society criticism of the involvement of the gas industry in Europe’s energy infrastructure planning, the proposed role of ENTSO-G is still as prominent and problematic as ever.

The EC announced the TEN-E proposal with the comment “this is an evolution, not a revolution”. But, when it comes to the high level role the fossil fuel industry is given in deciding on Europe’s future energy infrastructure, there is no change.

The new TEN-E proposal is still based on rolling out large energy infrastructure projects that preserve the primacy of the fossil fuel industry. The proposals do little to bolster the transition to integrated community-led renewable energy, energy efficiency, and climate justice. Of biggest concern, the inherent conflict of interest at the heart of the infrastructure selection process is not addressed. This, despite the fact that the old TEN-E has so far overseen severe delays, abandoned projects, and the waste of 440 million euros of EU taxpayers money on gas projects which have been cancelled or are highly unlikely to ever start operating.2

We face a climate emergency in which Europe has just years to wean itself off our addiction to fossil fuels. The EU Green Deal necessitates a profound transformation of our energy system. But the TEN-E draft proposal is clearly not getting us there.

The fossil fuel industry should not be in charge of defining what the EU energy system needs. This briefing calls for a firewall to end fossil fuel industry access to decision-makers, starting with the TEN-E regulation. We continue to call for the replacement of ENTSO-G by a transparent, independent body free of all fossil fuel interests.

Read more in our briefing!