The climate goals of the European Union and its member states are clear: reaching climate neutrality by the year 2050 and limiting warming to a maximum of two degrees Celsius. Nonetheless, natural gas projects are being planned and built all over Europe.

“Natural” might trick you into thinking that it’s not harmful. The oil and gas industry would surely want you to see it that way. But it is still a fossil fuel, and it produces “alarming methane emissions”, say experts.

Investigate Europe dug into gas investments to understand why Europe is once again acting against its own climate goals. What they found:

  • New gas projects worth €104 billion are underway; capacity for LNG terminals is to be increased by 54 percent; an extra 12,842 km of pipelines are anticipated down the line
  • In the European Commission’s list of the so-called “Projects of Common Interest”, there are 32 gas projects that have been deemed eligible for funding by the EU.
  • The Commission repeatedly overestimated the gas demands in the past 10 years, according to the European Court of Auditors.

But why?

The answers found are a mix of massive lobby influence, geopolitical competition and economical dependencies throughout Europe.

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