The environmental and human rights organization Urgewald (Germany), the Port Arthur Community Action Network (USA), and the Center for Energy, Ecology, and Development – CEED (Philippines) address the massive global build-out of liquefied natural gas (LNG) and amplify the voices of frontline communities in North America and Southeast Asia.
All across the globe, companies are on an LNG spree. Urgewald’s Global Oil & Gas Exit List (GOGEL), a comprehensive public database on the industry, reveals this unsettling trend. According to its latest findings, oil and gas companies plan to increase global LNG export capacity by 162%. This equals 729 million tons of liquefaction capacity annually.
The US Gulf Coast is set to become the world’s largest LNG export hub, with 21 new facilities in planning. In total, these account for 41% of the global LNG export expansion listed on GOGEL. The majority of fossil gas exported from these terminals – 88% – originates in the Permian Basin, the heart of the US fracking industry.
Communities along the Gulf Coast are fighting each and every one of the proposed LNG export terminals. John Beard, founder and leader of the Port Arthur Community Action Network, describes the impacts of these projects: “Our communities once thrived off the rich fisheries here. But the proliferation of LNG projects and petrochemical facilities have polluted our waterways, poisoned our air and destroyed our health. It’s impossible to escape the noxious fumes and as a result, we suffer from high rates of cancer, respiratory infections and constant migraines. And those bearing the brunt of these impacts are often communities of color. We refuse to be sacrificed for the greed of companies like Sempra Infrastructure and Cheniere. It’s time to end the LNG and the petrochemical build-out and reinvest in clean, green, renewable energy. That is what saves people and saves the planet.”
Simultaneously, Southeast Asia is forging ahead to establish the world's largest LNG import hub, with the Philippines at the forefront of this development. Plans in the Philippines include up to 12 LNG import facilities and 39 GW of gas-fired power situated in some of the world's most biodiverse ecosystems. One of the main affected areas is the Verde Island passage, a marine corridor, which is home to over 1700 fish species and 300 coral reef species. The outsized build-out of liquified gas infrastructure here poses a severe threat to the livelihoods of local fisherfolk, the nation's energy security, and the chance for a sustainable future for all.
“The Philippines is among the countries most vulnerable to climate change. In the last few years, we’ve experienced some of the worst typhoons in the world. If we don’t take drastic climate action now, it’s only going to get worse. Luckily, the Philippines is a paradise for renewables. According to our government, we have a potential of 807 GW for renewable energy. That’s a lot more than we actually need. We don’t want more fossil fuels. What we need is clean and affordable renewable energy,” says Gerry Arances, executive director at the Center for Energy, Ecology, and Development (CEED).
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