Live media briefing: The Southern Gas Corridor – a threat to the climate and human rights

The briefing will be live streamed on this page on September 12, 2016 at 11 am CET.

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In light of record loans that the Southern Gas Corridor pipeline project could soon receive from European and other international financial institutions, campaigners will explore in a live online discussion the multitude of ramifications the project entails for local communities along the route, for society in Azerbaijan and for the EU’s commitments to climate action and human rights.


The EU has decided to partner with the government of Azerbaijan to ship 10 billion cubic meters of natural gas from the Caspian Sea to Europe starting in 2020. The 3500 kilometers long Southern Gas Corridor (SGC), comprised of two new pipelines and the expansion of an existing pipeline, is the EU’s largest ever infrastructure project. Yet, this massive fossil fuels enterprise comes at a time when the international community is aiming to address the climate crisis, most recently with the ratification of the Paris Agreement by the world’s top emitters, China and the U.S.

The project also means the EU is tightening its relations with Azerbaijan’s autocratic ruler Ilham Aliyev who has built his clout and power on the country’s oil and gas resources. The Aliyev regime has been relentlessly cracking down on human rights defenders and journalists, winning the country some of the world’s lowest scores on democracy and human rights indices.

Nevertheless, the European Investment Bank, the world’s largest public lender, is currently considering extending EUR 3 billion in support to two of the SGC’s sections. The project could see additional support from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the Asian Development Bank and the World Bank, who could contribute at least EUR 1 billion each.

For more on the campaign, see our project page.

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