In June 2023, Andy Gheorghiu, a German-based and internationally operating campaigner and consultant for climate/environmental protection and energy policy, travelled to Namibia, where he met members of the local Economic and Social Justice Trust in the capital Windhoek. While visiting the township of Katutura, he witnessed the harsh economic reality of a post-apartheid democracy but also identified its huge transformative potential.
In May 2023, Andy Gheorghiu travelled along the US Gulf coast and visited LNG export sites (operating, under construction and planned) which have been co-financed by German banks or enabled through longterm contracts with German companies. He wanted to learn first-hand about the impacts on local communities and the environment. Lots of what he has experienced and heard reminded him of issues one would have expected in the Global South. Part 1 of these series looked at LNG export sites and impacted communities in Texas. This one covers Louisiana.
In May 2023 Andy Gheorghiu travelled along the US Gulf coast and visited LNG export sites (operating, under construction and planned) which have been co-financed by German banks or enabled through longterm contracts with German companies. He experienced first-hand the impacts on local communities and the environment – and was surprised by what he found. Lots of what he has experienced and heard reminded him of issues one would have expected in the Global South. Here’s his look back. Read part 2 covering Louisiana.
In part I of this two-part series, Andy Gheorghiu touched upon the rainbow colors of hydrogen and outlined IEA’s hydrogen projections for their net-zero 2050 targets and the EU’s hydrogen strategy. Based on recent research, he raised timely questions about the shortcomings of green hydrogen and Global North’s reliance on imports. In this blog, he will talk about the potential and challenges of green hydrogen production for the Global South.
There is a fairly broad consensus in the climate movement that hydrogen has to play an important role within the international energy transition (especially for the decarbonisation of energy-/feedstock-intensive industry sectors). And while there’s an understanding that only hydrogen produced 100% from renewables will match the requirements of being “clean” and therefore “climate-friendly”, few speak of possible shadow sides of this green dream (especially with regard to the Global North-South dependency resulting from green hydrogen production). In a two parts blog series, Andy Gheorghiu touches upon some of the aspects that promoters of green hydrogen should not forget.
Scientists and climate activists have highlighed and warned against the significant global warming impact of fossil gas and an expansion of related infrastructure. Furthermore, analysts have also repeatedly criticized Europe’s deep dependency from Russia – created particular by Germany with the help of petrochemical giant BASF and it’s daughter Wintershall Dea. Putin’s war in Ukraine is forcing the EU now to profoundly restructure it’s energy landscape and to save gas for the coming winter. But while the public is being told to shower cold and heat less Europe is still feeding a fossil fuels hungry petrochemicals and plastics industry. Andy Gheorghiu outlines the major findings of a new report that reveals the significant dimension of this gluttony and that calls for a profound new diet for this sector.
The war in Ukraine reveals the consequences of Germany’s fossil fuel dependency on Putin’s regime in a brutal way. The international voices to cut these fossil ties are growing by the day. Many oil and gas producing companies – such as BP, Shell and ExxonMobil – have already pulled out of Russia. However, Germany’s largest oil and gas company, Wintershall Dea, is still reluctant to follow these examples. Andy Gheorghiu gives a brief overview about Wintershall’s history and explains how its deep-rooted ties with state-controlled Gazprom – including its Nord Stream projects partnerships and a swap-asset deal that hand-delivered Germany’s largest gas storage to Putin – have also deepened Germany’s dependence on Russia.
On April 4, 2022, the IPCC published he third part of the Sixth Assessment Report, Climate Change 2022: Mitigation of Climate Change. Referring to the findings and key results, UN General Secretary António Guterres said that “investing in new fossil fuel infrastructure is moral and economic madness” while also outlining that “such investments will soon become stranded assets”. In this blog post, Andy Gheorghiu explains why new LNG terminals in Germany are not an exception – even after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The war in Ukraine has revealed the dependency of Europe on Russian gas. For a long time, gas has been touted as a bridge fuel. Now it turns out that gas is not only a significant contributor to the climate crisis but also a fuel to co-finance Putin’s war machine. A fast phase-out of fossil gas is inevitable, but some think that liquefied natural gas (LNG) will help the EU get rid of the Russian dependency. In this blog series, Andy Gheorghiu describes the situation in Germany and explains why the proposed LNG terminals are a climate disaster and risk to deepen the fossil dependency.
At the beginning of the COP26 the United States, the European Union and over 100 partner countries launched the so-called Global Methane Pledge – aiming at reducing global methane emissions by at least 30 percent from 2020 levels by 2030. The overarching goal is to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels (1850-1900). At the same time, the EU Commission is working on a legislative act to reduce methane emissions in the oil, gas and coal sectors. Andy Gheorghiu summarizes the state of play, explains the importance of the petrochemical sector and the supply chain and questions how ambitious the upcoming EU methane regulation might be.