Report alleges European gas industry lobby promotes gas as part of solution to climate emergency; incl. responses

The report "Who owns all the pipelines?" published by the European Network of Corporate Observatories (ENCO) looks at Europe's four biggest gas transport companies - Fluxys (Belgium), Enagás (Spain), GRTgaz (France), Snam (Italy) - and the pipeline and other gas infrastructure projects they are involved in despite climate science and local opposition to these. In addition, the report raises concerns regarding the EU lobbying activities of the four companies. Specifically, it alleges the companies continue to promote gas as part of the solution to the climate emergency.

Business & Human Rights Resource Centre invited the four companies named in the report to respond. Enagás responded, their full response is available below alongside the report. Fluxys, GRTgaz and Snam did not respond.

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Company non-response
15 October 2019

Fluxys did not respond

Author: Fluxys

Company non-response
15 October 2019

GRTgaz did not respond

Author: GRTgaz

Company non-response
15 October 2019

Snam did not respond

Author: Snam

Company response
30 September 2019

Response by Enagás

Author: Enagás

[The full response is attached]

In connection with the reference report, Enagás would like to clarify about the following projects: [...]

Enagás has not built, neither is it proprietary of the Castor storage plant...

TAP is also a key project that will facilitate Europe’s energy transition, helping to replace more carbon intensive sources of energy.

TAP will attract direct foreign investment for the transit countries, while economic development will be stimulated by the introduction of new energy supplies and more competitive energy markets...

A cornerstone of TAP’s commitment to the future of the communities along its route are the financing of social and environmental investment (SEI) projects...

The ESIAs (Environmental and Social Impact Assessments) [...] included an analysis of risks and opportunities linked to the pipeline project, considering its environmental and socio-economic and cultural heritage effects, and describing how any possible negative impacts will be mitigated or eliminated...

Morelos pipeline has been functioning since the 15th April 2016 in normal operation conditions. Controversies regarding the operation of the thermal plant are beyond the interests of Morelos pipeline and its partners and, for that reason, neither Morelos pipeline nor its partners have pronounced in favour or either...

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Report
11 September 2019

Who Owns All The Pipelines

Author: European Network of Corporate Observatories (ENCO)

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Article
11 September 2019

Who Owns All The Pipelines?

Author: Corporate Europe Observatory

The companies behind Europe’s gas transport network are rarely household names, yet their lobbyists sit at the heart of our political system. They make their money building and operating pipelines and other gas infrastructure projects, and are desperate to keep us hooked on fossil gas, despite the climate science and widespread local opposition...

Leaving fossil fuels like gas in the ground would seriously dent the companies’ profits and therefore shareholder dividends.

So instead of talking about how to manage the necessary decline of fossil fuel production, decommission infrastructure and ensure a just transition for workers, the big four TSOs are making new excuses to keep their infrastructure being used. They propose embryonic techno-fixes like so-called ‘renewable gas’ or betting on costly and experimental ‘carbon capture and storage’ (CCS) technology.

All four are aggressively lobbying to have us believe these false solutions will ‘decarbonize’ gas by 2050. In the long-term they claim it would allow industry to meet the EU’s climate targets, but more importantly, in the short- to medium-term, it keeps them in business as we keep using fossil gas waiting for miracles technology to save us. These dangerous distractions are even being used to justify building more publicly-funded fossil fuel infrastructure...

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