Gas lobbying ‘could lock EU into fossil fuel dependency’

The gas industry’s lobbying for new infrastructure risks locking the EU into another 50 years of fossil fuel dependency. That’s the suggestion from the Corporate Europe Observatory, which claims gas […]

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By Jonny Bairstow

The gas industry’s lobbying for new infrastructure risks locking the EU into another 50 years of fossil fuel dependency.

That’s the suggestion from the Corporate Europe Observatory, which claims gas firms invested more than €100 million (£88.1m) in lobbying EU decision makers during 2016.

It says this enabled gas corporations and their interest groups to hire more than a thousand lobbyists to promote gas as a clean ‘bridge fuel’ in the transition to renewables.

The Corporate Europe Observatory alleges this lobbying enabled gas firms to secure more than 460 high-level meetings with the European Union’s climate and energy bosses over the last three years.

It claims this led to the EU and Member States promoting the construction of controversial new gas infrastructure projects, including the Euro-Caspian Mega-Pipeline and the Franco-Spanish MidCat Pipeline.

Corporate Europe Observatory’s Climate Policy Campaigner, Belén Balanyá, said: “As a result of intense industry lobbying, the EU Commission has swallowed the gas lobby’s false claim that their fuel is a ‘clean’ complement to renewables and is now planning a new generation of pipelines and other gas infrastructure on this basis.”