The expansion of the Krk LNG terminal is an unnecessary and long-term expensive investment, especially since the USA, as the largest exporter of liquefied natural gas (LNG), has just suspended permits for new export terminals.
"The temporary suspension of approvals for new LNG export facilities is a significant victory for the climate movement. The administration of the US president, Joe Biden, must now go one step further and permanently suspend these permits", said Marija Mileta from Zelena akcija/Friends of the Earth Croatia in front of the US Embassy in Zagreb.
Activists of FoE Croatia held an action today to send this message to the American president. Near the embassy, they held a banner in the form of a postcard with the inscription "Biden, greetings from Croatia, frack off!" STOP LNG". They explained that part of this message is a play on words and alludes to the fact that the majority of American gas is extracted using fracking, which was banned in Croatia in 2021. "Our government is somewhat hypocritical because it has domestically banned a method whose multiple harm to human health and the environment has been proven, while they have no problem with the import of gas that is extracted in this way in the USA and endangers people there”, Mileta said.
Namely, on January 26th, the Biden administration announced a pause for approvals for new gas export terminals until their Ministry of Energy reviews the criteria for determining whether these projects are in the public interest. This does not apply to facilities that are already operational. “But the Biden administration seems to believe that existing LNG production and export infrastructure is sufficient to supply Europe and beyond. Therefore, we ask the Croatian government why they plan to increase the capacity of the terminal on Krk Island, especially if the largest importer of LNG to Croatia might be planning to reduce it", Mileta commented.
It should be kept in mind that this infrastructure will end up as a stranded asset, and the cost will probably be borne by the state, meaning us. "Instead of LNG, the government should direct public money into renewable energy sources and energy efficiency measures, with an emphasis on marginalised groups".
Mileta added that in the USA there are so-called "sacrifice zones", mostly along the coast of the Gulf of Mexico. In addition to the already existing petrochemical and LNG terminals, at least 35 more are planned there. Most of this industry is located in areas where the majority of the residents are people of color, Hispanic and other populations. "They’ve been inhaling harmful toxins for decades, which is why their regions got names like 'Cancer Valley' and 'Death Valley.' Now, in the midst of an unprecedented boom in LNG exports to Europe, the fossil fuel industry is targeting these same communities," Mileta emphasised and added: "It is unacceptable that Croatia, due to its dependence on gas and poor energy policy, is a part of something like that”.
In addition to climate change, we must not ignore the impact that LNG plants have on the health of people and entire communities where gas is delivered to Croatia from. "For all these reasons, we oppose the expansion of the Krk LNG terminal and new gas pipelines," Mileta concluded.
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