Heavy lobbying from the gas industry could see us locked into fossil fuels for another 40-50 years. Rather than focusing on renewable energy and reducing demand, the EU and its governments want to build a new generation of pipelines and other gas infrastructure. A new report by Corporate Europe Observatory exposes the power of the gas industry lobby in Brussels, and the impact it has had on the EU’s energy policies. It explains who the big players are, the tactics used and the role lobbying has played in the construction of new pipelines such as BP’s scandal-ridden mega-pipeline from Azerbaijan to Italy, and MidCat, the Franco-Spanish interconnector.
According to the research, the gas industry:
spent over €100 million in 2016 and had more than 1000 lobbyists on its payroll. Some of the biggest spenders are well-known polluters such as Royal Dutch Shell and ExxonMobil, who each declared up to €4.75 million last year.
secured 460 meetings in the last three years with the Commissioner for Climate and Energy Miguel Arias Cañete, Vice-President for Energy Union Maroš Šefčovič and their cabinets .
By contrast, public interest groups working to stop the new generation of gas infrastructure:
spent just three per cent (€3.4m) of the gas industry's lobbying budget.
have one tenth of the lobbyists (101)
secured one ninth of the meetings (51) with the two European Commissioners in charge of Climate and Energy policy in the last three years.
The European Union has bought the myth that gas is a ‘clean’ fossil fuel... but there’s no such thing. We need to break the gas industry’s grip on policy-makers at the UN, in Brussels and in national governments.
Download the full report here.