Gas grabbing in Algeria, Floods & fossil fuel subsidies & more
19 February 2014
|Dear All,Welcome to our first newsletter of 2014. We’ve got some new reasearch published on the link between the UK’s “gas grab” and human rights abuses in Algeria, an intervention we’ve been making to link the recent flooding to fossil fuels, a report back from a recent trip to a community resisting a proposed gas pipeline in Italy and an upcoming event in York.
Reinforcing Dictatorships – Britain’s Gas Grab and Human Rights Abuses in Algeria
The UK’s “dash for gas” is not only a disaster for the climate, it also has severe implications for democracy movements in countries like Algeria, where the military dictatorship uses gas revenues to maintain its repressive powerbase. Co-published with the Algeria Solidarity Campaign, the new report was launched with a protest at the Algeria-UK investor Window at the London Stock Exchange. Download the report and check out the coverage in the Guardian.
You may have seen a couple of unpleasant Daily Mail front covers last week asking people to sign a petition to cut foreign aid and instead use the money to support flood victims. We’ve reframed the debate by saying that we should cut the billions that the UK spends on fossil fuel subsidies instead – freeing up revenues for the relief of flood victims, and addressing the causes of the extreme weather that we’re starting to endure. There’s been an amazing response to the petition we set up – it was mentioned in letters in the Guardian and the Evening Standard, and it was adopted in the Green Party’s ten point response to the floods.
We’re going to be handing the petition in next week, so there’s still time to sign it, or if you’ve already signed it, you could share it on social media or in your workplace. Thanks to everyone for their support, and here’s a sample tweet.
Cut fossil fuel subsidies, not foreign aid, to help flood victims Sign the @platformlondon petition bit.ly/1bIfsVa
Inspiring Pipeline Resistance in Italy
At the start of February Emma Hughes was inspired by her visit to the Southern Italian community resisting the Euro-Caspian Mega Pipeline – a huge piece of gas infrastructure designed to suck gas from Azerbaijan to Europe. Instead the community are building a renewables-fuelled future independent of oil & gas companies. Read about it here.
First Nation Communities Foil Shell’s Arctic Drilling
You’ve probably heard how Shell has had to cancel its 2104 Arctic drilling plans in Alaska as a result of a legal challenge. Faith Gemmill from REDOIL in Alaska wrote a blog for us on on the court decision that forced Shell’s hand, and the Indigenous rights context behind it.
Perenco: Oil Production At Any Cost
Perenco is a little-known Anglo-French oil company with a history of operating in controversial circumstances. We recently published a report looking critically at their operation in Guatemala.
A New Law to hold Oil Companies to Account in Nigeria?
We’ve worked with Nigerian civil society and social movements on a letter published in the Nigerian media last week. The letter focussed on a new piece of legislation designed to improve the response to oil spills and hold polluters to account. Read about it on the blog.
A conversation with Platform Sustainers
We had a great meeting with some of our Sustainers a couple of weeks ago. After watching some of the latest Platform films, our discussion covered race and power issues to artistic instrumentalism to fracking. The observations and reflections on our work were so useful. Hearing that “we connect people with places really well” and that “the richness of your research is startling” were such endorsements. The ideas for reaching more young people and the ways we can expand the artistic side of our work, were very welcome.
Platform Sustainers are people who commit to donating between £2.50-£30 per month towards our work. We recognise that this is a big commitment and shows a confidence in our work that we really appreciate, so thank you to all our current Sustainers. By September this year, we’d like to have 100 Sustainers and would love to organise a celebratory event for all of you. If you’d like to become a Platform Sustainer please donate here, or contact Tanya at [email protected]. Many thanks.