Vienna, 16 March 2023
What: Ahead of the European Gas Conference (EGC) taking place from March 27-29 in Vienna, Austria, civil society coalitions will take to the streets, taking direct action outside the meeting venue. A counter summit lead by social movements, and civil disobedience of an alliance of justice groups from across the continent will put the climate-damaging, undemocratic and anti-social policies being negotiated behind closed doors under scrutiny and pressure decision-makers to support a just transition to locally-owned, renewable energy for all.
The EGC is a three-day ‘high-level’ event convening senior decision-makers, many representatives of fossil fuel companies like BP, Total and RWE who meet with financial investors such as Blackrock, and political representatives from the EU Commission. The conference guests will take major energy policy and climate decisions – which, given their lack of impartiality, is a farce.
Who: Hundreds of people from all across Europe and beyond are expected to join protests against the EGC. Representatives from the African civil society campaign “Don’t Gas Africa” will join the mobilisations criticising Europe’s neo-colonial dash for gas in Africa and will be available for interviews.
When: “Block Gas” Massive Civil Disobedience
From March 25-29, “Block Gas”, an alliance of grassroot groups fighting for social and climate justice all across Europe, hosts action days of massive civil disobedience to block the EGC.
When: Counter Conference
Ahead of the EGC, March 24-26, various groups and organisations from diverse social movements host a counter-summit in Vienna: the Power to the People Conference. The conference will take place in a decentralised format at different locations in Vienna around Yppenplatz and the University of Vienna.
March 24, 6-8pm: Opening – Polylog – Power to the People! with Don’t Gas Africa, Don’t Pay UK, Jineoloji-Kommitte, BlockGas and more
March 26, 10-12am: Panel – Europe’s Neocolonial Gas Grab; Not here not anywhere! with Don’t Gas Africa and Black Earth Kollektiv
When: Demonstration: Stop the gas lobby – Power to the People!”
Tuesday, March 28, 5.30pm at Stephansplatz
Why: In Europe, the dependence on fossil fuels has led to sky-rocketing inflation, energy and cost of living crises, as well as dependence on autocratic states. At the same time, current plans by the European fossil gas industry in the Global South threaten to extend colonial injustices by exploiting local resources, dispossessing their communities and irreversibly damaging ecosystems. The protests against the EGC will shed light on the role of the gas lobby who pushes for the massive expansion of fossil infrastructure, to challenge the corporate destruction of people and the planet and initiate the beginning of the end of this fossil gas madness.
About the European Gas Conference (EGC)
- Gas companies, financial institutions and politicians come together to settle on the future of energy bills.
- Austria’s second biggest climate culprit company, OMV, hosts this European meeting of the fossil “Gas Council” – a global network of senior fossil fuel lobbyists and financial investors.
- Amongst the guests: CEOs of major fossil players such as BP, Uniper, Total, RWE, Equinor and major financial investors such as BlackRock and high-level European politicians.
- more than 100 private meetings for lobbyists
- tickets cost several thousand euros
- New fossil gas projects are being negotiated, among them are RePowerEU projects such as the TransAdriatic Pipeline and LNG Terminals as the ones in Brunsbüttel and Wilhelmshaven.
Notes to editor:
Don’t Gas Africa
This is a campaign led by African civil society to ensure Africa is not locked into fossil gas production. More info here: https://dont-gas-africa.org/
Power to the People Conference, 24-26 March
A counter summit convened by initiatives from the social movements on climate justice, trade, global solidarity, feminism and housing will bring together people from Europe and beyond. Together they will envisage and develop plans for a new, just energy system that hands power back to the people. By the end of the conference, a vision on the energy system of the future will be presented. Groups and organisations like Don’t Gas Africa, Fridays for Future, Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace, and Attac and many more are involved in the program, featuring a diverse range of workshops, and panel discussions with international speakers and participants.
Block Gas, Massive Civil Disobedience, 25-29 March
An alliance of grassroot groups fighting for social and climate justice all across Europe, mobilize for action days of massive civil disobendience to block and shut down the European Gas Conference.
Spokespeople are available – please contact:
Block Gas Massive Civil Disobedience
Phone: +43 670 6589363
Counter Summit (Power to the People Conference)
Max Hollweg (Attac Österreich)
Phone: +43 677 62736481
Don’t Gas Africa
Phone: +27 60 3278042