15 March, 2019, Lecce, Italy. Today, the grassroots movement of several communities fighting against the construction of the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) will stand in solidarity with the hundreds of thousands of students from 98 countries that are striking from school. Students around the world are demanding urgent action by decision makers to tackle climate change and support communities suffering the impacts of global warming. TAP is a gas project that will lock Europe into decades of fossil fuel dependence, so locals are taking to the streets to support the student climate strike, just days before these communities mark the second anniversary of their own struggle to stop the pipeline with another protest.
TAP is the final leg of the Southern Gas Corridor, a mega-pipeline that is planned to bring Russian and Azeri gas from the Caspian Sea to Europe, but it is highly controversial due to the impact it will have on the climate and local communities. One local resistance group in Italy, known as the the ‘NoTAP Mothers’ explain, “we will participate in the global school strike for the climate to strongly reiterate our support for all life and the preservation of the future for our children, we also rally to protect the health of our communities and our cultural heritage that is directly threatened by the construction of major fossil fuel infrastructure projects.”
On Sunday 17th March, following on from the school strikes, thousands of people including locally-elected officials, farmers, fishermen, local business owners, mothers, grandmothers and students will mark the second anniversary of their resistance to the fossil gas project and the way it has negatively impacted their communities by marching from the southern Italian town of Melendugno (where the pipeline makes landfall from the Adriatic sea) to the TAP construction site at San Basilio in protest at the ongoing support from the national government and European financiers for this hugely unpopular project.
“The Southern Gas Corridor, of which TAP is a part, is the largest climate-altering infrastructure project Europe has committed itself to – the pipeline has received billions of Euros in finance from European public banks despite the fact these pipelines mean climate chaos and local injustice. So this Sunday, the NoTAP movement will support students in their strike for the future and demonstrate against fossil gas pipelines like this,” says Gianluca Maggiore, NoTAP spokesperson.
Since its approval the construction of the pipeline devastated the local economy, natural landscape, and traditional way of life of communities in southern Italy and other countries who, inspired by the student protests, continue to rise up despite the fact that the Italian government has militarized the Melendugno area, showing the state’s willingness to use force, and sometimes violence, to protect the interests of the TAP multinational consortium. Ultimately, the pipeline is antithetical to EU climate targets and the objectives of the Paris Agreement.
Sabina Giese, a Melendugno local explains, “I am a NoTAP activist but above all, I am against all fossil fuels because they contribute to global warming. So I stand by the young students and strike with them in protest. Last week I was with them in Berlin and this week we will be in Melendugno to strike with the kids. Students are needed to stop all the pipelines of the world – they are showing us how it’s done.”
- Mark Raven, European Communications at 350.org
- Email: [email protected]
- Phone: +447841474125
Note to editors:
- Videos of NoTAP resistance (seven personal profiles)
- Public financing figures for TAP
- Follow events on Twitter via #FridaysForFutureLecce and #NoTAP