Stop the EU support for fossil gas in the East Mediterranean !

Frans Timmermans, Vice-president of the European Commission

The EastMed gas pipeline is a disaster for communities and the climate, and is wildly incompatible with the Paris climate goals, European Green New Deal, and European Convention on Human rights.

Construction hasn't started yet, so we still have a good chance to stop it!
We must show the EU that there is a broad and major civil resistance to this project, and to new gas development in the region. We have power to demand that life is put before profit, and to promote
peace, justice and equality for all.

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To: Frans Timmermans, Vice-president of the European Commission
From: [Your Name]

The EastMed gas pipeline is a disaster for communities and the climate, and wildly incompatible with the Paris climate goals, European Green New Deal, and European Convention on Human rights.

The pipeline incentivises, and has direct ties, to militarization in the regions around the Eastern Mediterranean. As part of its support for the pipeline, the United States has lifted its embargo on selling arms to Cyprus (1). Drilling vessels are now escorted by warships in the disputed waters in Turkey, Greece and Cyprus in a rush to access the fossil gas (2). Political support of the pipeline also normalizes the Israeli occupation of Palestine, as Israel is one of the main benefactor and proponent of the project.

The EastMed pipeline will be a huge barrier for the fight to stop the climate crisis. The mega pipeline is designed to carry up to 20 billion m3 (BCM) of fossil gas annually. Fossil gas is a dangerous fossil fuel, and more gas infrastructure is incompatible with the Paris Climate goal of keeping global warming under 1.5 degrees (3). Fossil gas is mostly made up of methane, a supercharged greenhouse gas, which has an estimated global warming impact over 86 times higher than that of CO2 in the next 20 years (4).

Not only this, but the EastMed pipeline will be an environmental disaster, passing through the Mediterranean Sea, which is considered a biodiversity hotspot, in sensitive ecological areas including risk areas for earthquakes.

The EU is politically and financially supporting the EastMed pipeline and as such, the extraction and transport of fossil gas from the Eastern Mediterranean to Europe.

This support is at odds with European energy needs and goals! The existing European gas network is sufficient to meet European energy needs. New gas infrastructure projects risk to become stranded assets, or worse, to lock us into the use of fossil fuel for decades longer than necessary (5); new mega fossil projects are irreconcilable with the ambitious target of reducing EU CO2 emissions by 55% by 2030 (6) and add thousands of kilometres more infrastructure that can leak unburned methane into the atmosphere.

The European Union is a promoter of human rights and should take into account how its oversea projects are contributing to the direct and indirect oppression of people, political repression and reduced security - specifically in Cyprus and Palestine;

We demand that the European Commission publicly ends its support of the EastMed pipeline:

1. No priority status
Refuse to include the following projects on the 5th Project of Common Interest (PCI) list : EastMed pipeline, Poseidon pipeline, Alexandroupolis LNG Terminal, Gas2EU LNG Terminal and EuroAsia Interconnector.

2. No public money
Refuse to provide further EU public financing to the EastMed pipeline, Alexandroupolis LNG Terminal, Gas2EU LNG Terminal Poseidon pipeline and EuroAsia Interconnector (specifically, Connecting Europe Facility and European Investment Bank funding)

3. Acknowledge Human Rights Violations
Warn European companies and investors of the legal, economic and security risks of involvement in Israel’s gas projects, and specifically the EastMed pipeline and EuroAsia Interconnector (7)

We join communities along the route of the pipeline : “We say no to new fossil fuel exploration and development of reserves! We say no to conflict between our countries! We say yes to climate justice and to peace!” (8)

*** References ***
1. One Hundred Sixteenth Congress of the United States of America. “‘Further Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2020.’’ Dec 2019. pp. 515–522.
2. Yaroslav Trofimov and David Gauthier-Villars. “Turkish, Greek Frigates Collide in the Mediterranean Sea.” Wall Street Journal. 14 Aug. 2020.
3. “Fossil Gas: Part of the problem and never the answer.” Global Witness. 17 June 2020.
4. Howarth, Robert. “Methane Emissions; the greenhouse gas footprint of natural gas.” Cornell University. Accessed online 11 Nov. 2020.
5. An updated analysis on gas supply security in the EU energy transition” Arelys report. 20 Jan 2020.
6. Climate change: EU leaders set 55% target for CO2 emissions cut. BBC article. 11 Dec 2020
7. “Simply Unsustanable! The EU’s energy projects with Israel.” Stop The Wall. 7 Mars 2018