By signing the contract to increase the capacity of the Krk LNG terminal by one hundred per cent, the Croatian Government and its Minister Filipović agree to deepen the climate crisis, energy insecurity, robbery of public money and further instigation of conflicts in other countries.
Zelena akcija / FoE Croatia sent this message during today’s action in front of the Government’s building in Zagreb. The occasion was last week’s signing of the contract between the state-owned company LNG Croatia and the Norwegian company Wartsila Gas Solutions for the delivery of an additional module for gasification.
“With this symbolic action, we wanted to show how the Government decides about our present and future arbitrarily, without our say”, said Marija Mileta from FoE Croatia, adding: “Doubling the capacity of the terminal will mean locking Croatia into at least two more decades of using fossil gas. Decades in which we must phase out fossil fuels to avoid irreversible climate change”.
The Government constantly claims that this will ensure Croatia’s energy independence and that we will be the so-called energy hub of the region. “We wonder how we can be independent when we continue importing energy sources and only plan to change suppliers. We will continue to depend on geopolitics”, Mileta commented. The real short-term and long-term solutions, and thus energy independence, are massive energy efficiency measures and local renewable energy sources. “Croatia is shamefully at the bottom of the EU regarding installed solar energy, and we have incredible potential. It is evident that the gas industry interest prevails and influences the Government”, Mileta added.
FoE Croatia has recently presented an expert study that offers solutions and guidelines for gradually abandoning the use of gas by 2035. “Our study for gas phase-out in Croatia clearly proved that it is possible, but unfortunately, the Ministry and the Government have not shown any interest so far”, Mileta said.
Instead, Filipović is looking everywhere for money for this harmful project, so he stated that part of the project will be financed from the state budget, that is, from the pockets of citizens. “The original project of the floating LNG terminal was completely financed with public money, and a large part came from the state budget. Now, Filipović and the Government once again want to take our money for a project that will cost us a lot in the long run“, Mileta said.
The price will be not only financial and climatic but also human. It is probably less known that Croatia also imports LNG from Mozambique, where European companies, with the help of the army, forcibly evicted people from their land due to gas extraction, which led to violent conflicts. “Using that gas, Croatia directly encourages violence and human rights violations in countries like Mozambique”, Mileta added.
The price is also environmental. According to the current Regulation on ecological impact assessment, for the reconstruction of an existing plant, which could have a significant negative impact on the environment, a minimum evaluation of the need for an impact assessment is required. Filipović claims that a new study is not necessary. “How is it possible that much smaller projects have to go through more rigorous procedures, and for such a large project, actually the reconstruction of the terminal, this does not have to be done? Obviously, different rules apply to the Government”, Mileta said and added: “However, there are certain legal options that we intend to take due to these omissions of the Ministry and the Government”.
FoE Croatia will not give up advocating for real solutions that do not deepen this already severe climate crisis. “Therefore, we invite all people in Zagreb and the surrounding area to the climate protest, which will take place on Saturday, Earth Day, at 4 p.m. on Strossmayer Square”, Mileta concluded.