Statement of solidarity with the communities affected by TAP
Yesterday (06.02.2018), the European Investment Bank (EIB) has announced that it will approve the fiercely contested 1.5 billion Euro funding for the construction of the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP). TAP forms the western section of the so called Southern Gas Corridor, a 3500-kilometre-long chain of pipelines starting in Azerbaijan and going through Georgia, Turkey, Greece and Albania, finally reaching the shores of Southern Italy. The pipeline is expected to transport 10 billion cubic metres of gas per year by 2020.
We, grassroots groups from across the world, express our deepest solidarity with the local communities that are affected by yesterday’s decision. TAP is being fought by numerous local communities on the ground, including in Azerbaijan, Greece, Albania and Italy. The decision to fund TAP comes after continuous and growing resistance by these communities and civil society groups, following the violation of human rights and freedom of expression, military intervention and shady dealings practiced on the highest level, including in the European Union.
The decision by the EIB to approve the funding for TAP is nothing short of a deliberate attempt to undermine the climate goals agreed upon under the 2015 Paris Agreement. Committing to new fossil infrastructure in the face of an already diminishing carbon budget creates a catastrophic lock-in state. TAP will likely chain the European energy sector to new gas infrastructure for the next 50 years, thereby increasing the dependency on fossil fuel suppliers and diverting public funds away from renewable energy. This comes at a time where the European Commission itself foresees gas demand to further decrease, with existing pipelines capacities already in excess of demand.
It becomes clear that funding TAP is not about providing for greater energy security in Europe but about playing in the hands of rent-seeking stakeholders in the new pipeline. When public institutions act against the expressed will of the people, as the EIB did yesterday, all our voices must be heard ever louder. We rally behind the collective resistance against TAP and the local fights for livelihoods, justice and a world without fossil fuels.
We will continue to provide our fully-fledged solidarity and support for the affected communities.
The Gastivists Collective (worldwide)
Fossil Free. ch (Switzerland)
Fossil Free Uppsala (Sweden)
Divest London (UK)
Plataforma Resposta al Midcat (Spain)
Ensemble Zoologique de Liberation de la Nature (Belgium)
Not Here, Not Anywhere Ireland (Ireland)
Climate Justice Montréal (Canada)
See also Newsletter on No-TAP.
Resisting the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline
The Movimiento NoTAP in Italy published this strong message on their page:
The TAP project is not just a local issue; it has implications that go far beyond the territory of the province of Lecce, and even beyond the countries it crosses, because it contributes to strengthen an energy system based on the exploitation of fossil fuels, which in turn has serious consequences for climate change, that dramatically affects our planet.
The Trans Adriatic Pipeline is part of the “Southern Gas Corridor” — a chain of proposed mega-pipelines that would pump billions of cubic meters of gas from Azerbaijan to Europe every year. The construction of TAP would destroy Europe’s climate goals, increase energy dependence from an oppressive and dictatorial political regime such as Azerbaijan, divert billions in funding away from renewable energy, and have unacceptable impacts on the communities on its path.
Instead of rapidly reducing emissions, as required by the Paris Agreement, TAP would lock Europe into fossil fuels for decades.
In Europe there are many companies involved in the construction of the pipeline, as well as banks that will finance the project, and without whose financial support the TAP could not be realized.
In the light of this, it is important that European get involved first hard in deciding the energy future of the continent and become aware of the urgent need to oppose the construction of the TAP and of any other fossil fuel projects.