When people think of plastic pollution, most of the time they think of single-use plastic items (such as plastic bags, cotton buds, plastic straws, and food and beverage packaging). However, the core of the problem lies in virgin plastic production, which the key corporations totally rely on. According to the American Chemistry Council, a total of $202.4 billion for 333 petrochemical projects has been spent since 2010, with 53 per cent of them already completed or under construction.
Today, the chemical sector is already the largest industrial consumer of fossil fuels, accounting for 14% of global oil (including ethane) and 8% of gas primary demand. The International Energy Agency (IEA) expects that cheap ethane consumption will grow by 70% until 2030, in part due to the expansion of US exports to regions such as Europe.
“I know no other NGO that provides these highly sophisticated, in-depth pro bono legal services for other NGOs/grassroots groups. I would always recommend The Good Lobby and I look forward to other joint projects.” – Andy Gheorghiu, Campaigner and Consultant for Food & Water Europe
In 2017, The Good Lobby supported Food & Water Europe on a pro bono basis to publish a guide that can help civil society to understand the EU legislation and challenge exploration and extraction of hydrocarbons. The Hydrocarbons Toolkit provides legal arguments for activists in the European Union that want to fight against the problems caused by hydrocarbons exploitation. More precisely, the toolkit discusses the individual pieces of legislation along the hydraulic fracturing process, starting from prior assessments to liability. For each Directive/Regulation, it discusses the goal and scope, the most relevant provisions, limitations, and the general line of argument that activists and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) can use to challenge the exploration and extraction of hydrocarbons. Lastly, the toolkit establishes the procedural steps that citizens and organizations can take to contest a certain project on the EU level.
To this day, the Hydrocarbon Toolkit continues to guide activists and non-governmental organizations that fight against the exploration and extraction of hydrocarbons through the European environmental legislation.