This map shows European gas resistance in the context of massive proposed new gas infrastructure that would represent a “Fossil Fuel Lock-in” for Europe and massive public spending through the publically funded “Projects of Common Interest” (PCIs).
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 favor 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.
About PCIs: The European Union is currently reviewing 77 Gas “Projects of Common Interest” to receive public EU funding to build “energy security” among the EU. Notably, funded projects represent a public contribution to private projects that are otherwise financially unviable. The 300 billion Euros currently allotted towards these projects represent a massive public investment into new private and unsustainable fossil fuel infrastructure.
Fracking the Climate: The global fracking assault [Link to Fracking Frenzy Map] is working to flood the world with gas that is causing massive and irreversible damage at the site of extraction and massive losses of methane (CH4) into our atmosphere at the points of extraction and along transportation chains. Recent scientific studies demonstrate that CH4’s greenhouse effect is far superior to CO2’s, especially in the short term. CH4 decomposes in the atmosphere in about 12 years, but in the first ten years it is over 100 times stronger than CO2 in warming the planet. Calculating a 20 years average, CH4 is still 86 times more potent as a greenhouse gas than CO2, and on a 100-year average it is still 34 times more potent. In the current urgent context of climate change in which we are dangerously approaching a global regime change, powerful short term impacts are precisely what we should be avoiding. Looking in more detail at CH4 gas leaks along natural gas supply lines, various recent studies have shown that these are in no way insignificant. If we consider conventional natural gas production, the system loses an average of 3.9% through gas leaks. If we consider non-conventional natural gas production, principally shale gas obtained through hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”), the situation is even worse, in these cases leaks increase to 5.8%. It is worth pointing out that these numbers are based on gas transported through pipelines, but recent as yet unfinished investigations indicate that gas lost through maritime transport with methane transporting vessels could be greater (up to 11%).
Supporting Rogue Regimes: The willingness of the European Union to buy gas from questionable sources is making them complicit in maintaining and financing anti-democratic regimes. From Qatar, to Azerbaijan, to Russia, to Morocco and to the United States - the decision to spend billions of euros on new gas infrastructure represents a commitment to maintaining the authority of rogue regimes that is complicit in repressing resistance all along the gas supply chain.
Blocking Alternatives: Far from being a “transition” fuel that goes “hand-in-hand” with renewables, gas represents competition to renewables - every euro spent on gas infrastructure is a commitment to continuing fossil fuels and represents a euro not spent on building a just transition.