Relatório: Lutar para vencer | Report: Fight to win

Lutar para Vencer capaO novo relatório “Lutar para vencer: o impacto no clima do movimento português anti-petróleo” do Climáximo mostra que as recentes vitórias do movimento contra a prospeção e exploração de petróleo e gás em Portugal conseguiram prevenir emissões de gases com efeito de estufa. Os autores concluem que ativismo pode ser a forma mais eficaz de os cidadãos reduzirem os seus impactos climáticos.

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O movimento anti-petróleo em Portugal preveniu já as emissões de aproximadamente 10 mil toneladas de CO2 nos últimos dois anos, graças ao cancelamento e adiamentos de contratos de exploração de gás e petróleo. O movimento conseguiu pressionar o governo para cancelar, ou não renovar, dois terços dos contratos existentes no início da legislativa e ainda conseguiu fazer adiar o furo de Aljezur do consórcio ENI/GALP, inicialmente marcado para 2016.

As conclusões do estudo são duas: (1) Os movimentos sociais são capazes de produzir resultados incríveis. (2) Participar em movimentos sociais será, possivelmente, a estratégia individual mais eficiente para redução de emissões: as emissões evitadas chegam, por ativista, aos 75% das emissões anuais médias de uma pessoa portuguesa, uma redução muito mais elevada do que em qualquer outra estratégia.

Todas as vitórias são temporárias e parciais, mas os impactos da crise climática não o são. Neste relatório, os autores, Sinan Eden (ativista do Climáximo) e Luís Fazendeiro (ativista da Plataforma Algarve Livre de Petróleo e investigador em transição energética) pretendem celebrar as vitórias do movimento até hoje e apelar à população portuguesa para que se junte a esta luta.

O relatório está disponível em inglês e em português:

Lutar para Vencer

Fight to Win


Fight to Win coverThe new report “Fight to Win: the climate impact of the Portuguese fossil-free movement” by Climáximo shows that the recent victories of the movement against oil and gas projects in Portugal succeeded in preventing a significant amount of greenhouse gas emissions. The authors conclude that activism can be the most efficient way for ordinary people to reduce their climate impact.

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The fossil-free movement in Portugal prevented approximately 10 thousand tons of CO2 emissions in the last two years, thanks to cancellations and postponements of oil and gas contracts. The movement successfully pressured the government to cancel or not renew two-thirds of the contracts which were valid in the beginning of its mandate, and further forced the Aljezur drill by ENI/GALP -originally set for 2016- to be postponed.

The report has two main conclusions: (1) Social movements are able to produce incredible results. (2) Participating in social movement is arguably the most efficient strategy for each individual in Portugal to reduce her/his greenhouse gas emissions: the avoided emissions reach 75% of annual emissions per activist, a value much higher than any other strategy.

All victories are temporary and partial, yet the impacts of climate crisis are not. In this report, the authors Sinan Eden (Climáximo activist) and Luís Fazendeiro (Plataforma Algarve Livre de Petróleo activist and energy transition researcher) intend to celebrate the victories of the movement until today and invite the Portuguese population to join the fight.

The report is available in English and Portuguese.

Lutar para Vencer

Fight to Win

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Portugal’s fossil-free movement heating up the fight as the Aljezur drill threat approaches.

In the last couple of years, the fossil-free movement in Portugal managed to force the government to cancel 10 out of 15 new oil and gas exploration contracts. Now is the turn of the ENI/GALP consortium’s Aljezur contract, the first drill of which is set for mid-September.

The government has been extremely and ridiculously supportive of this offshore project in the Algarve region. After several public consultations, parliament votings, public protests and juridical processes, the Socialist Party government insisted in favouring the corporations, renewed and extended their expired contract, and exempted the drill from environmental impact assessment.

The movement’s response was colossal.logo_preto

Here is a summary of the last few months.

Following a press conference against the project by all mayors of the region, hundreds marched in Lisbon in the “Enterrar de Vez o Furo” (Bury the drill once and for all) protest in April. This was the launch of a summer of actions, compiled and communicated through the “Parar o Furo” (Stop the Drill) campaign.

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Parar o Furo turned the whole national territory into a playground, where activists kept a rein on all government officials. There was not a single government visit in Algarve that was not met with a protest.

Activists gave a hard lesson to GALP. That is, they actually organized an open lecture on climate change with a university professor at the GALP headquarters. Of course, to protect itself from climate science, GALP invited three bus loads of police to barr the entrance. Determined to make even a little bit of science heard, the activists organized the lecture at the main entrance.

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The activists’ next stop was the Ministry of Economy. A live fossil, who heard that Portugal won the CAN European fossil award, wanted to show his solidarity with the government who wanted to accelerate the fossilization of humans. So he designed his own fossil award and delivered to the ministry.

Then it was the turn of the Minister of Environment, who was to give a conference about energy transition. An honest version of the minister went on stage and explained how the government actively supports the corporations in the fight against climate.

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The World Cup also did not go unnoticed, as GALP is one of the main sponsors of the Portuguese national team. The “Don’t Faul Portugal” video got viral on the day Portugal played its first match.

In the meantime, all the country was filled with STOP the Oil Drill signs.

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International solidarity followed: comrades from Turkey (Northern Forest Defense), Ucraine (Eco-action), Austria (System Change not Climate Change) and Italy (NoTAP) sent support videos, underlying that the climate justice movement is united against new fossil infraestructures.

As if targets for actions were lacking, Obama came to the city of Porto to talk about climate change leadership. Reminding to public that it was Obama who launched the famous shale gas revolution in the US, activists served oil cocktails and fracked water in the entrance of the conference. Obama maintained and strengthened the fossil fuel status quo and delivered it to Trump, as is the Portuguese government doing at the very moment with the Aljezur drill.

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One day later, beaches all across the country were filled with hundreds of protesters organizing human chains to protect the ocean. The decentralized action “Petróleo é má onda” (expression: oil is not cool; literally: oil is bad wave) took place in more than 20 beaches.

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Finally, just a couple of days ago, activists dressed as business men entered the Ministry of Environment and spred banknotes filled with oil. The action “Os vossos lucros VS O nosso clima” (Your profits vs. Our climate) underlined the series of political choices by various government entities to favor the fossil fuel industry and to destroy the climate. In this action, the fossil fuel industry payed a visit to the ministry to pay for its services.

Yet this is not the end of the story. On August 4th, another Parar o Furo action is set in a beach next to Lisbon where hundreds will gather for an aereal art action.

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Then in September 8th, just one week before the set date of the drill and together with the world, Portugal will Rise For Climate, Jobs and Justice. Marches in Lisbon and Porto are already confirmed and more information can be found at http://www.salvaroclima.pt .

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The website http://www.pararofuro.pt has detailed information in English about the context, has an action map, and sends newsletters (in Portuguese and English) regularly.

 

Nigeria-Morocco gas pipeline: Not in Our Interest

In December 2016, an announcement was made of a nearly 5000 km Nigeria-Morocco offshore gas pipeline which at today’s prices will cost an estimated 20 billion US dollars. In reality, the actual costs will likely be much higher. This pipeline would be a continuation of the existing 678 km long West African Gas pipeline (WAGP) that has been in service since 2010. It aims to serve 12 countries on the African continent and some 300 million potential consumers, with a possible extension to the Europe.

We, the undersigned organizations, are concerned about this project for several reasons, including:

1. While the acceleration of global warming exceeds all expectations and greenhouse gas emissions have set a new record in 2016, the construction of this pipeline can only go in the direction of an increase of extraction and consumption of fossil resources, the main causes of global warming.

2. Contrary to what is often asserted, gas is not clean energy.  The methane in it is more volatile than CO2, and much more powerful in global warming potential[1]. Moreover, the concentration of methane in the atmosphere has accelerated dangerously since 2007.

3. The extraction, transportation and use of fossil fuels has considerable environmental implications: the disturbing effects of seismic studies on marine fauna, the use and release of various chemical substances and wastes, the risks of leaks, fires and explosions related to corrosion and navigation are additional risks to that of methane emissions. This will destroy livelihoods of millions of our people depending on fisheries in our regional waters.

4. The section already constructed (WAGP) was done without consulting the populations who rejected the environmental impact study.

5. It is a top-down project that does not consider the needs of the populations and the environment. They are not consulted and will not be the first beneficiaries of this pipeline. While Nigeria is Africa’s largest exporter of gas and oil, less than half of the population has access to electricity. In Benin, Togo, already served by the WAGP, barely a third of the population have access to electricity.

6. The proposed pipeline is a project for the multinational corporations. Nigerians do not benefit from Oil exploitation in Nigeria.

7. The energy produced will be used primarily to fuel agribusiness projects and export-oriented industrial clusters at the expense of small farmers and artisans and the satisfaction of the needs of the people.

8. This project will be a financial sinkhole. It is likely that the forecast cost of US $ 20 billion will be probably doubled and will lead to an exponential increase of the debt burden of our countries.

We the undersigned believe that the proposed Nigeria-Morocco gas pipeline is bad for the region, our peoples and the Planet. We say NO to the project,

Because we choose the climate in place of fossil energy,

Because we choose the health of our planet against the appetites of multinationals,

Because we refuse to pay for projects that will not bring us anything,

We say no to the Nigeria Morocco pipeline.

Signed
1. ATTAC Morocco
2. Health of Mother Earth Foundation (HOMEF), Nigeria
3. Peoples Advancement Centre, Nigeria
4. Justica Ambiental, Mozambique
5. Centre for Children’s Health Education, Orientation and Protection (CEE-HOPE), Nigeria.
6. Centre for Environment, Human Rights and Development (CEHRD), Nigeria.
7. Les Amis de la Terre Togo (ADT-Togo), Togo
8. Jeune Chretien en Action Pour le Development (JCAD), Togo
9. Centre for Social Studies and Development- We the People, Nigeria
10. Oilwatch Ghana, Ghana
11. Environmental Justice North Africa (EJNA)
12. Green Concern for Development (GREENCODE), Nigeria
13. Social Action, Nigeria
14. Rainforest Resource and Development Centre (RRDC), Nigeria
15. Lokiaka Community Development Centre, Nigeria
16. Green Alliance of Nigeria (GAN)
17. Struggle to Economize Future Environment (SEFE), Cameroon
18. 350.org, Africa
19. Gastivists, International
20. Youth Climate Coalition, UK
21. Platform London, UK
22. Observatori del Deute en la Globalització (ODG), Catalunya
23. CoalSwarm, USA
24. Millieudefensie/Friends of the Earth Netherlands
25. Amigos de la Tierra (FoE Spain)
26. Oil Change International, International
27. Corporate Europe Observatory, Belgium
28. Association Pierre Domachal, France
29. Ecologistas en Acción (Spain)
30. Attac (France)
31. Climáximo  (Portugal)
32. Friends of the earth (USA)
33. Food & Water Europe
34. Friends of the Earth Europe
35. Non au Gazoduc Fos Dunkerque, France
36. Leave it in the Ground Initiative (LINGO)
37. Kebetkache Women Development and Resource Centre, Nigeria
38. Egi Human Rights and Environmental Initiative, Nigeria
39. Ikarama Women Association, Nigeria
40. Oil watch international

[1] IPCC experts estimate that methane is 84/87 times more powerful than CO2 in global warming potential on a 20-year timescale.