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A Trans-atlantic alliance rises against Canadian GNL Québec and German LNG Stade projects

Quebec/Stade/Berlin, July 5, 2021 - A Trans-atlantic alliance formed of 22 German and 18 Canadian organizations are joining forces to demand the immediate shutdown to elected officials of both major liquified natural gas (LNG) projects: the GNL Québec project in North America and the Hanseatic Energy Hub project in Europe.

In June 2021, GNL Québec announced a strategic partnership with the company Hanseatic Energy Hub that aims at constructing the LNG Stade import terminal in the North of Germany. The GNL Québec project has an estimated export capacity of roughly 15 bcm/yr LNG while LNG Stade current plans foresee a 12 bcm/yr regasification capacity. Both projects aim at being operational by 2026 as the earliest date.

This coalition of environmental organizations paints the frail partnership between the two potential projects as a “major hindrance to the energy transition”, a “climate bomb” and a “national and international disgrace” for the governments who still haven’t shut the door on them. The GNL Québec project is aimed at expanding unconventional fossil gas production known as fracked gas in Western Canada and exporting it to international markets. As a reminder, fracking is a technique of hydrocarbon production that can contaminate drinking water sources, can lead to significant methane emissions and leaks and even cause earthquakes.

All implicated in the trans-atlanic alliance against GNL Quebec and LNG Stade are citing climate, environmental and economic concerns against both projects. Back in February 2021 over 30 groups and NGOs from Europe and Canada signed a letter of disinterest in connection to the open season offering capacity procedure of LNG Stade

Sascha Müller-Kraenner, Federal Manager at Environmental Action Germany, said:
"Germany is more than sufficiently connected to the European and international gas markets. We don't need any additional fossil infrastructure - this is neither compatible with Germany's climate protection targets nor with our international obligations under the Paris Agreement. Building new fossil infrastructure now that is designed to last for decades is negligent in terms of economic policy and catastrophic in terms of climate policy. We have known for a fairly long time that natural gas is similarly devastating as coal in its carbon footprint due to extremely climate-damaging methane leaks along the supply chain - this was shown not least by the footage of German natural gas infrastructure that we recently published. In times of climate crisis, we can no longer rely on fossil energies, but must accelerate the expansion of renewables. This must now be the focus of the German and Canadian governments."

Heiner Baumgarten, regional chairman of Friends of the Earth Lower Saxony, added: “We now have the evidence that fracked gas, which is particularly harmful to the environment and climate, shall be imported as LNG to Stade - despite what LNG proponents like to claim. The government of Lower Saxony rejects fracking in Lower Saxony, and shale gas fracking is banned in Germany. In this respect, it would be contradictory and hypocritical to import fracked gas.”

German groups also point to the low utilization rates of existing LNG terminals in Europe and reference a legal expert review published by Environmental defense germany (DUH) which outlines that the LNG Stade terminal cannot get permission at the planned location due to a consequential increased risk of already existing hazards such as a temporary nuclear storage facility and an existing chemical park. Due to the complexity for navigation capacity on-site the LNG terminal also poses a threat for nature reserves nearby and the Elbe as an important water route.

“Germans don’t want our dirty fracking gas, and rightly so, we definitely agree with them. Exporting this LNG would slow the energetic transition in Europe and, as we know, the climate crisis is an international problem and knows no frontier: we would collectively have to face the consequences of these potentially devastating projects, said the canadian groups, calling on Quebec Prime Minister Legault for the definitive shutdown of the flailing GNL Québec project. The opposition is growing on both sides of the ocean and the social acceptability of both projects will keep declining as more people from around the world will join the opposition against fossil fuel exploitation.”

PARTICIPATING ORGANIZATIONS

In Canada:

Alternative Bécancour, Coalition étudiante Arrêtons GNL, Coalition Fjord, Comité citoyen carboneutre de la MRC de Maskinongé, Comité Vigilance Hydrocarbures Lavaltrie, Comité Vigilance Hydrocarbures des municipalités de la MRC de Maskinongé, Eau Secours, Équiterre, La Planète s'invite au Parlement, La planète s'invite en Mauricie Centre-du-Québec, Mères au front, Mobilisation climat Trois-Rivières (MCTR), Mouvement LittOralement citoyen inacceptable, Nature Québec, New Brunswick Anti-Shale Gas Alliance, NON à une marée noire dans le Saint-Laurent, Prospérité Sans Pétrole, Regroupement vigilance hydrocarbures Québec

In Europe:

Abgefrackt Bündnis Weidener Becken gegen Fracking, Aktionsbündnis No Moor Fracking, Andy Gheorghiu Consulting, Arbeitskreis Fracking Braunschweiger Land, ARGE Umweltschutz Haseldorfer Marsch, Berliner Wassertisch, BI NO Fracking Völkersen, BI Walle gegen Gabohren, Bürgerinitiative Flecken Langwedel gegen Gasbohren, Bürgerinitiative "Saubere Umwelt & Energie Altmark’’, Climate Alliance Against LNG, Climáximo (Portugal) , Environmental Action Germany, Fossil Free Munic, Fracking Freies Hessen, Friends of the Earth Lower Saxony, Interessengemeinschaft gegen Gasbohren im Tecklenburger Land, NaLaKiZu Bürgerstark, Umweltschutzverein pro grün e. V. Paderborn, NoMoorGas Bürgerinitiative, Urgewald, Wesermarsch ohne bohrtürme, WUG Wittorf

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Contacts:

Anthony Coté-Leduc, Media relations, Équiterre
514 605-2000, acoteleduc@equiterre.org

Camille-Amélie Koziej Lévesque, Co-spokeperson, Coalition Fjord
+1 418 550-3235 ; comm.fjord@gmail.com

Andy Gheorghiu, Campaigner and Consultant
+49 160 20 30 974, andy.gheorghiu@mail.de

Sascha Müller-Kraenner, Federal Manager of Environmental Action German
mobile: +49 160 90354509, mueller-kraenner@duh.de

Heiner Baumgarten, regional chairman of Friends of the Earth Lower Saxony
mobile: +49 151 27507580, Heiner.Baumgarten@bund.net

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