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New map shows resistance mounts as Europe locks itself into fossil fuel future

A new online map uncovers plans to build a massive web of gas infrastructure in Europe, and the mounting resistance and conflicts resulting from its development, showing sites of resistance in Europe and around the world in places where Europe-destined gas is being exploited and exported.

The map, which was developed by Observatori del Deute en la Globalització (ODG), Gastivists Collective, and researchers at the Autonomous University of Barcelona with funding and support from the ACKNOWL-EJ network, reveals widespread social conflict related to Europe’s investments into a fossil fuel-dependent future.

Visit the Global Gas Lock-in Map.

According to Kevin Buckland from Gastivists,

‘This map shows a clear gap in European climate policy. If the EU has any intentions of meeting its Paris Agreements it needs to take into account the massive Global Warming Potential of “natural gas”. Gas is, after all, mostly methane – which is both a fossil fuel and a greenhouse gas, and has no part in a transition to renewable energy. The EU, with these more than 77 publicly funded infrastructure projects, will lock Europe in to another 30 years of climate pollution.’

Despite widespread opposition shown in the map, many of the planned gas projects are being funded with public money as EU Common Interest Projects, while in export countries the social impacts of gas exploitation documented include displacement, fracking-related earthquakes, and deaths connected to gas plant accidents and repression against protesters.

According to Kevin,

‘This map is important because 42% of global gas imports come to Europe. As such, Europe cannot distance itself from the fracking frenzy occurring across the globe. This is just the next phase of colonialism and resource exploitation from the South to the North, masked with a thin veneer of marketing claiming to be a “transition fuel”.’

Developed by ODG & Gastivists, The Global Gas Lock-in shows existing and foreseen gas infrastructure in Europe, mainly Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) ports and pipelines, and highlights conflicts from around the world regarding natural gas exploration, exploitation and export.

According to ODG,

‘The large majority of Europe’s energy use today still depends on fossil fuels, mainly from oil, gas and coal. While the climate effects of oil and coal are well known, gas is still considered as a “transition fuel” and a “bridge to renewables”. But the climate effects of gas are even worse than oil and coal in the short term, and environment and communities are badly affected where gas is exploited. The European Union’s political shift away from its dependency on Russian natural gas represents a massive transformation of the European energy grid. The EU is a at a crossroads – with the decision to leave behind centralized extractivist economies in favour of sustainable, renewable and decentralized energy structures or to “lock-in” the next generation of fossil fuel infrastructure. This map looks at sites of popular resistance in the context of this new planned infrastructure.’

Along with this map, which is part of a series of featured maps on the Environmental Justice Atlas, researchers from ODG have simultaneously launched a written report with the same title, as well as a print map, funded by the Rosa Luxembourg Foundation. The book is now available for download in Spanish and will soon be available in English, and hard copies can also be requested. A printable map is also available for download.

ODG will launch the maps and report tonight, 5 October, at 19h in the Sala d’Actas in LaFede in Barcelona, followed by snacks and a photography exhibition on the MIDCAT pipeline at LaBase Ateneu Cooperatiu.


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