Clean gas is a dirty lie: Paris-aligned pension funds need to divest from fossil gas companies

By admin April 1, 2021

1 April 2021 Fossil gas is not a “transition fuel” in a 1.5°C world, even though the gas industry claims differently. Today, activists across Europe are calling for recognition of the dangers of fossil gas. Gas Free Pensions, a network of European environmental organizations including Danish AnsvarligFremtid, Fossil Free Sweden, Fossil Free Berlin, and Italian Re:Common, calls on pension funds to recognise the dangers of continuing investment in fossil gas companies.

Today, citizen activists under the collective Gastivists in more than 12+ cities across Europe are challenging the narrative presented by the fossil gas industry and lobby, which paints a false picture of gas as a clean, just, financially viable, and green energy source. Continued investment in fossil gas is  committing us into locked-in infrastructure. Long-term methane emissions are bringing us certainly over the 1.5 degree Celsius in global warming. LNG is more and more often coming from fracking extraction, which emits huge amounts of methane and uses a lot of dangerous chemicals in the process, putting it on par with coal. Front-line communities, such as in the  Niger Delta, suffer most from health impacts of pollution, gas flaring and methane leaks.

Recent research shows evidence of the discrepancy between the fossil gas industry claims and reality.  Most of Europe’s fossil gas industry has announced an ambition to become climate neutral by mid-century at the latest. Very telling is that a new survey by Deutsch Umwelthilfe and Urgewald of Europe’s 19 biggest fossil gas companies companies revealed that no company could definitively measure their methane emissions, all rely on estimates. Few companies had concrete plans to reduce the extremely climate-damaging methane emissions.

In Europe, fossil gas is already responsible for more CO2 emissions than coal. A recent report by Artelys show that “the existing EU gas infrastructure is sufficiently capable of meeting a variety of future gas demand scenarios in the EU28, even in the event of extreme supply disruption cases. This suggests that most of the 32 gas infrastructure projects on the EU’s latest investment list are unnecessary from a security of supply point of view, and represent a potential overinvestment of tens of billions of EUR, supported by European public funds”. 

“While our Swedish pension funds are beginning to divest from coal and oil, it is crucial to point out that fossil gas is a catastrophic way to go – as it is no more than a shift to just another highly potent fossil fuel causing climate chaos and affecting local communities fatally. That is why we are supporting the actions taking place across Europe today targeting the misinformation campaign of the gas industry.” Says Maria Hammer, Fossil Free Sweden

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