Ongoing talks on the possibility of EU purchases of Israel’s natural gas put into question the EU’s commitment to Palestinian rights under international law.
The EU has made a strong commitment towards energy transition to renewable sources and has developed an ambitious strategy to meet Paris Agreement climate change targets. At the same time the EU has spent millions in the recent years on new gas infrastructure projects and billions of euros more are expected for 104 new gas projects included in the third list of Projects of Common Interest (PCI) published by the Commission.
Natural gas is a fossil fuel composed of methane, which is 86 times more potent as a heat-trapping gas than CO2. With this massive investment, the EU is locking its dependence on fossil fuel for decades to come. As a recent report has shown, the gas corporate lobby is entrenching Europe’s addiction to fossil fuels. In 2016 alone, “gas corporations and their lobby groups spent over €100 million on influencing EU [energy] policy, with more than 1,000 lobbyists on their payroll. … By comparison, public interest groups lobbying against new gas infrastructure managed to mobilize just 3% of industry’s spending.”
This not only puts into question the EU’s ability to meet climate change targets but also give rise to serious human rights concerns and the adverse social impact on communities where the pipelines are expected to cross.
Ongoing talks on the possibility of EU purchases of Israel’s natural gas put into question the EU’s commitment to Palestinian rights under international law. As this briefing by the Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC) explains, by purchasing gas from Israel, whether directly or indirectly, the EU would become complicit in Israel’s illegal annexation of the occupied Palestinian territory, its illegal settlements and the war crime of pillage of Palestinian natural resources – all in contravention of the EU’s international commitments and legal obligations.