A coalition of Spain’s five largest environmental groups is taking legal action against the official authorisation granted by the Ministry of Industry, Energy and Tourism to oil giant Repsol for hydrocarbon exploration offshore the Canary islands.
Despite massive protests against the planned project, the Spanish Government gave Repsol an “all-clear” licence for offshore exploration in three marine plots close to the islands of Fuerteventura and Lanzarote. A series of appeals were heard at the Supreme Tribunal and were rejected in June.
In a joint statement, environmental groups WWF, Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth, Ecologistas en Accion and SEO Birdlife announced their intention to take European legal action against this decision.
Since the wake of the economic crisis, cash strapped EU Mediterranean states frantically promote oil and gas as the spearhead of their economic recovery strategies. Iconic and ecologically sensitive marine and coastal areas are at serious risk, in Spain, Italy and Greece. In January 2014, WWF Spain warned of a “tsunami” of new oil and gas operations threatening Spain’s seas.