Campaigners in Torry are still waiting on the Scottish Government announcement that was expected back in January. Each month it has been put back another 28 days and is now due on 6th May. If the government gives the go ahead to the current plans for the ETZ (Energy Transition Zone) it will be a decisive step down a road that panders to the oil and gas industry and has nothing to with social justice. St Fitticks Park, which the plans would take over for industrial use, is the only green space in a working class area that suffered from decades of pollution as a result of the oil and gas industry. Most recently a new Energy from Waste incinerator, built close to a primary school, has led to a further deterioration in living conditions.
This film from REELNews highlights the issues involved and the resistance of the local community. Please share it widely.
In the film it’s noted that it’s not clear what use the new industrial zone will be put to. However, since the film was made campaigners have found evidence that there will be a large hydrogen storage facility – with 80% blue hydrogen and 20% green – that will be used to convert the cooking and heating supply for 20,000 social housing tenants in Aberdeen. If this goes ahead not only will Torry lose it’s green space many of its residents will be locked in to a very expensive energy future.
St Fitticks deserves to be a national campaign. The issues it raises around social justice, the use of hydrogen and carbon capture are national issues and they expose the weaknesses and contradictions in Scottish Government Energy Policy.
Share this post – support the St Fitticks campaigners.
Read more detail and watch video from the campaign here and here.
As Egypt prepares to host the COP27 climate summit in November 2022, Egyptian activists have issued an urgent appeal to the global climate justice movement not to be taken in by the regime’s claims to speak on behalf of ordinary people in the Global South. In a statement published by Egypt Solidarity Initiative, the Egyptian Campaign for Climate and Democracy warns that the regime of Abdelfattah al-Sisi is planning to use the COP27 conference to burnish its reputation after presiding over a decade of brutal repression.
“The aim of this greenwashing is twofold: first, to extract as much financial aid as possible from the rich industrialised countries. Most of this money will end up being syphoned out of the country into the bank accounts of Sisi and his generals in those same industrialised countries. Second, is to distract from his abysmal human rights record, and as usual, the leaders of the supposedly democratic Western governments will allow him to get away with it.”
The Egyptian Campaign for Climate and Democracy
While the COP27 conference takes place, thousands of people have been jailed and abused for demanding basic democratic rights, including journalists, activists, academics and students. The response of the military regime to protests and campaigns related to environmental issues has been just as harsh, whether over plans to build coal-fired power stations, polluting industries or the destruction of green spaces. Climate justice movements attending the summit are likely to find themselves alongside ‘astroturf’ government-sponsored ‘climate campaigns.’
“No real Egyptian opposition activists will be allowed near Sharm El-Sheikh during the conference. It would be a shame if genuine global grassroots movements are fooled into taking part in such a state-orchestrated charade”
The Egyptian Campaign for Climate and Democracy
This appeal follows a similar warning by jailed activist Alaa Abdelfattah, a British citizen who was convicted of ‘terrorism’ for posts on social media and other trumped charges. Alaa has been on hunger strike since 2 April to protest at the abusive conditions in prison. He is also calling for a consular visit from the British embassy. “Of all the countries to host [the COP27] they chose the one banning protest and sending everyone to prison, which tells me how the world is handling this issue. They’re not interested in finding a joint solution for the climate,” he told his sister during a prison visit.
Writer and activist Naomi Klein has also sounded the alarm. “The international climate movement must start paying attention to what is happening in Egypt’s prisons,” she told the Guardian. “We cannot sleepwalk to Cop27 as if these are not crimes against humanity.”
The TUC has also called on the British government to hold the Egyptian regime to account during COP27 for its attacks on workers’ rights to organise. In a statement published in June, ahead of preparatory talks in Bonn ahead of the COP27 conference, the TUC said:
“The Egyptian trade union organisations affiliated to the ITUC – the Egyptian Federation of Independent Trade Unions and the Egyptian Democratic Labour Congress – have faced repeated repression, with labour organisers forced to retire, limiting the unions’ ability to function. … Vital to tackling the climate emergency is the need for freedom of association and the rights of workers and communities to organise for change. Since seizing power, the Egyptian government has consistently demonstrated a disregard for human life and these fundamental freedoms. By hosting COP27 in Sharm el-Sheikh, the Egyptian government will have an unprecedented opportunity to greenwash its atrocious record in human rights”
TUC statement, 10 June
What you can do:
Read the full statement from Egyptian activists online here
Share with climate networks in your country and on social media
Take action in solidarity with Egyptian political prisoners, write to your MP or government calling on them to demand the Egyptian regime releases political detainees and stops repressing protest.Go to FreeAlaa.net for more information on Alaa’s campaign. Find out more here about the cases of journalist and lawyer Hisham Fouad and Haitham Mohamedain.
Last month the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, together with Oil and Gas UK released the text of the North Sea Transition Deal. We will look at this document in more detail in a future post.
Suffice it to say that this is ‘transition’ that references the climate crisis, and talks about net zero, but is wholly driven by the interests of the oil industry. The two big ticket items in the strategy are ‘Carbon Capture and Storage’ and ‘Hydrogen’. And although the document comes out of Westminster, the minutes of the North Sea Transition Forum that brings together the industry with the UK and Scottish governments, suggest that Holyrood is on board with the strategy.
Injecting new life into assets – Supporting Net-Zero goals and producing more oil. A novel polymer flooding agent is helping to improve field recovery rates and accelerate the energy transition process.
You may need to read those headlines a few times! The new polymer makes it easier to extract the oil. This reduces the amount of carbon emissions associated with the effort of extraction. Oil is pumped faster, and more oil can be extracted from a given reservoir. So, there’s a small reduction in emissions at the point of production and more oil released into the system. The magic here is that we are not supposed to count this massively greater amount of carbon because the greenhouse gases will be captured (by as yet unavailable technology). And, of course, the polymer is available now – the oil is being pumped now – and carbon capture may be available at some unknown point in the future.
Check out Scot.E3’s campaigning pledge for COP26 which outlines action to cut through the greenwashing and magical thinking that currently characterises policy on transition from fossil fuels.