Opinion article by Susann Scherbarth of Friends of the Earth Europe, and Sean Sweeney of Trade Unions for Energy Democracy. First appeared on OpenDemocracy.
A new horizon is opening for energy ownership and democracy in Europe. After a five-year-long campaign for community energy, pioneered by Friends of the Earth Europe, communities and households have won new EU rights to generate, consume and sell their own renewable energy.
The European Parliament today voted to approve a 7-year extension of EU subsidies for climate-wrecking fossil gas projects, as part of the new budget.
While the climate emergency rightly takes more and more space in the political debate, it is still business-as-usual when opportunities to withdraw from fossil fuels come up, said Friends of the Earth Europe.
As UN climate talks open this week, Friends of the Earth Europe warns time is running out to bring about an energy transformation to prevent climate breakdown.
The UN COP24 talks opened with nations set to adopt a 'just transition' declaration stressing the need for all countries to ensure a decent future and quality jobs for workers impacted by the energy transition.
A vote today in the European Parliament on the EU's next seven year budget put another nail in the coffin of a liveable climate by approving potentially billions of Euros of new fossil fuel subsidies.
The future EU budget should be a foundation for Europe's fight against climate change, says Friends of the Earth Europe. But MEPs today green-lighted proposals to continue to use taxpayers money for new fossil fuel projects until 2027.
Global 2000/Friends of the Earth Austria campaigners have won a significant victory after forcing the Austrian oil and gas company OMV to end subsidies for oil heaters. OMV will by the end of 2019 phase out funds for a programme known as ‘Heizen mit Öl’ (‘heating with oil’), which promoted and gave financial payments for the installation of oil heating systems in Austrian homes.
In a dramatic show of people power, an estimated 50,000 people gathered on Saturday (6 October) to defend Hambach Forest and the climate.
Under crisp sunshine, they demanded an end to coal in Germany, a clean climate, and the protection of the ancient forest at threat from coal mining expansion.
Last Saturday (6 October), as top climate scientists were putting the final touches to the latest shattering UN report on climate science, 50 thousand people were demonstrating against the expansion of one of Europe’s biggest, dirtiest coalmines.
Today's stark Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report on the impacts of 1.5°C of global warming shows Europe's addiction to fossil fuels must come to an end, according to Friends of the Earth Europe.
Jagoda Munić, Director of Friends of the Earth Europe said:
Hambach Forest in Germany's Rhineland is 10,000 years old. But it is under massive threat from German energy giant RWE, which wants to destroy the last remaining part of the forest to mine for coal.