All over Europe, people are rising up to fix climate breakdown – demanding urgent transformation to a fair, fossil free future. Communities, cities and people are at the forefront of building community-owned renewable energy, creating green jobs, and tackling energy poverty.
Here is one such story from the frontlines of climate hope, from Budapest, Hungary.
The European Commission has launched proposals for a package to help workers and communities make the shift to fossil free societies – a policy Friends of the Earth Europe and unions have for years demanded. The proposal is part of the EU Green Deal, unveiled in December 2019.
European governments today adopted to a target of zero net carbon emissions by the year 2050.
Responding to this new long-term goal approved by heads of state and government at a summit in Brussels, Susann Scherbarth, climate justice spokesperson for Friends of the Earth Europe said;
Prospects for vulnerable communities in the global South look dire, as wealthy countries refuse to pay up for the climate damage they have caused and Northern governments and corporations push forward carbon trading, says Friends of the Earth International as another round of deeply disappointing world climate talks draw to a close.
An obscure investment treaty, the Energy Charter Treaty (ECT), could undermine the goals of Europe’s Green Deal, unless it is fundamentally revised in negotiations that trail its annual conference this week in Brussels, over 250 civil society organisations and trade unions warn.
As community renewables grow in western Europe, what about central and eastern regions?
A socially fair energy transformation means putting renewable energy into the hands of communities and people. The transition to 100% renewable energy, must benefit people too – not just big corporations - we must take power back from Big Energy. Big energy companies have consistently acted in their own financial interest, instead of the planet and sharing the wealth from renewable energy with communities.
A year and a half ago, Friends of the Earth began a lawsuit against Shell in the Netherlands, led by Milieudefensie / Friends of the Earth Netherlands. We served Shell legal papers summoning them to court for climate crimes.
This week we received Shell's response. What we can already see from their arguments is that Shell believes it is already doing enough to combat the climate emergency.
Today Friends of the Earth Netherlands received Shell's long awaited re-sponse to the legal summons demanding it acts on climate change. While lawyers still need to study the 272 page legal document in detail, the response shows that Shell does not intend to meet the plaintiffs' demands.
Friends of the Earth Netherlands' Director Donald Pols says, "Shell once again takes no responsibility for the disproportionate role it plays in aggravating the climate crisis. Shell is undermining the world's chanc-es to stay below 1.5°C."