Sometimes it is hard to remain hopeful in the face of our collapsing climate, the failure of our governments to finally act and the might of the corporate polluters whose core business is a direct threat to life on this planet.
Any progress, any campaign win can just feel too little too late in the grand scheme of things – but sometimes there are moments when we can take a step back and see how far the climate movement has come and what we have achieved to keep fossil fuels in the ground.
I’ve had such a moment this week when I looked back at this overview of some of the key fossil fuel fights in Europe. We launched that page and accompanying video in the summer of last year to showcase some of the grassroots groups and local communities that are resisting coal mines and power plants, fracking wells and gas pipelines all over the continent.
Fossil fuels are facing increasing resistance across Europe. And revisiting those fights we portrayed just over a year ago, it’s astonishing to see how successful people-powered resistance is at stopping these projects in their tracks.
Of the eight fossil fuel resistance fights we’ve profiled, three big ones have just over a year later now been won:
Midcat gas pipeline – cancelled √
In January, local communities celebrated as the French and Spanish energy regulator announced that they won’t support the controversial the MidCat/STEP gas pipeline between France and Spain, which starved the pipeline of the necessary investments. Read more.
Gothenburg LNG terminal – cancelled √
In October, the Swedish government decided to deny the EU-backed Gothenburg gas terminal its final permit on climate grounds, following years of local opposition including a mass blockade just weeks before the decision. Read more.
Fracking in the UK – banned √
Years of resistance have left the UK government with no choice but to announce a ban this month, which marks the final blow for fracking in the UK. Read more.
The other fossil fuel projects on the list have also seen some massive blows.
The Trans Adriatic Pipeline is under investigation in Italy.
The fight against coal in Germany is far from being won but the industry has been put on notice with an exit date (though unacceptably late), unprecedented levels of broad based resistance around the successful fight for the Hambach forest, the burgeoning school strikes across the country, as well as record breaking mass blockades of coal operations.
In addition to these fights, more and more resistance is building to remove the political and financial backing that the fossil fuel industry is so dependent on. Check 350.org/endfossilfinance and get involved!