Making Europe even more dependent on fossil fuel imports is not the answer to the climate crisis and clearly not in line with the Paris Agreement. Yet, since the beginning of the EU-US trade talks, the European Union has increased its imports of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) from the US.
LNG is a polluting fossil fuel. The extraction and transportation of both conventional and unconventional (‘fracked’) gas has severely negative social, environmental and climate impacts all along the supply chain: the push for gas infrastructure results in the displacement of communities and associated human rights violations, while fracking, a dangerous and controversial extractive method commonly used in the US, involves noxious chemicals and high volumes of water, which in turn pollute aquifers and has significant negative impacts on communities.
Since the meeting between US President Trump and [then] European Commission President Juncker in July 2018, cumulative EU imports of LNG from the US have increased by a striking 367%. The EU is also investing heavily in LNG infrastructure to ensure that all its Member States can directly or indirectly benefit from increased imports, especially from the US.1
What the European Commission says:
“The European Union is ready to facilitate more imports of liquefied natural gas from the US and this is already the case as we speak.”
– Former president of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, August 20183
If we want to halt climate change, we should go fossil free now instead of importing more dangerous and environmentally destructive fracked gas from the US.
The phase-out of fossil fuels must happen without false solutions like nuclear power, biofuels, geo-engineering, emission trading schemes or large-scale biomass, and without new trade deals that restrict how we manage our own energy use. Real solutions to climate change are available such as active community and citizen engagement in owning and producing renewable energy – “community energy”.