Many of us have already seen images from the underwater gas pipeline rupture in the Gulf of Mexico. Although they look unfathomable, these images are very real. The fire blazed for more than five hours before it was put out – already too late to avoid the devastating impact of the gas penetrating the gills and skin of fish and other marine wildlife.
Based on what we know about how fish and shellfish react to gas, this isn't good at all. Fish on the periphery of the pipeline rupture may be able to sense the gas and flee, but others will be quickly disoriented and likely perish in the 2 days following exposure.
Petróleos Mexicanos, also known as Pemex, is the state company responsible for the pipeline. They already have a long record of major industrial accidents – including oil spills and explosions – which caused several of its officials to be charged with negligence. Today, the company is more than $100 billion in debt, which also starts to raise the question of what will be done with the rotting infrastructure of old oil riggs and pipelines once the industry is 'phased out'.
The Gulf is on fire due to a gas leak, pollution from the fossil fuel industry is not measured, the country has warmed 1.4 ° in the last decade, 70% of the territory is in shortage of water, sinkholes are formed by the stress of the aquifers.This is the Climate Crisis in Mexico. pic.twitter.com/6pCVEUueKi— Maria Reyes #ClimateJusticeIsSocialJustice (@Maria_R333) July 3, 2021
Massive ecological destruction isn't 'surreal', it's happening, it's avoidable, and it needs to stop
2021 is not only already full of climate-fuelled heatwaves, deadly tornadoes and other disasters, but also many induced by humans. Just a few days ago, a large explosion occurred near an oil platform in the Caspian Sea. And how could we forget the burning ship that spewed oil and debris including chemicals, cosmetics and plastic pellets across Sri Lanka's coastline in May?
Too often, a disaster occurs, and civil society is left to chronicle its devastating consequences, pick up the pieces and demand accountability for negligence. The consequences of many of these catastrophes have had a deep impact on marine life as well as the those dependent on it, such as fishing communities. These environmental disasters don't have a cost. They irretrievably impact ecosystems as well as the livelihood and wellbeing of the local population, and our collective future on this earth.
2020 and 2021 have illustrated what we should already know by now: that the climate emergency is here, and that it will affect everyone. We must ensure that upcoming files part of the European Green Deal, such as the 'Fit-for-2030', commit to ambitious goals that are compatible with the climate emergency we are already facing.
In two weeks time, the European Commission comes with its Climate and Energy package to deliver on higher 2030 climate ambitions. Will it be the promised ‘Man on the Moon’- moment? As @GreensEFA we stressed our key points in a letter: https://t.co/KJ9Qli1MlI— Bas Eickhout (@BasEickhout) June 30, 2021
The Greens/EFA group in the European Parliament has opposed the expansion of natural gas for 'blue' hydrogen, hydrogen fuel from natural gas and carbon capture. Ville Niinistö MEP, Greens/EFA coordinator in the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy, and Bas Eickhout MEP, Greens/EFA Vice-Chair of the Environment Committee, highlight that the hydrogen strategy must include 'renewable and green hydrogen only' and that 'funding hydrogen from fossil fuels is not sustainable and not in line with our climate commitments'.
The group is also calling to exclude natural gas from the sustainable investment criteria in the EU taxonomy, having already successfully excluded natural gas projects from the public loan facility part of the just transition mechanism. More broadly, the Greens are calling for an end to fossil fuel subsidies. Currently, the EU still puts 50 billion euros towards fossil fuels, including natural gas.