“The number and intensity of these gigantic fossil fuel projects is shocking and clearly shows that existing voluntary corporate commitments are insufficient. Fossil fuel companies are deceiving the public with their greenwashed strategies, while they keep making record profits on climate breakdown. Their destructive business model must be put to an end. In the absence of robust due diligence, a harrowing worst-case scenario continues, where social and environmental catastrophes go unchecked, particularly at the costs of the Global South” – Audrey Changoe, Trade & Investment Policy Coordinator

In 2023, CAN Europe continued to campaign against the Energy Charter Treaty (ECT). Intense advocacy and coalition work with civil society organisations and member organisations across Europe convinced more EU Member States to withdraw from the ECT. Germany, France, Spain, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Denmark, Portugal, Ireland, Poland, and Slovenia have announced their withdrawal intentions. A landmark victory was achieved in June 2023 with the European Commission concluding that a coordinated withdrawal from the unmodernised ECT was the soundest way forward and that it was no longer compatible with the EU’s enhanced climate ambitions under the European Green Deal and the Paris Agreement.

Another key campaign in 2023 was against the EU-Mercosur trade deal. CAN Europe utilised the EU-CELAC Summit in Brussels in July as a platform to mobilise support. Together with the Stop-EU Mercosur coalition, CAN Europe held a series of side events, including a high-level debate in the European Parliament with key stakeholders.

Another 2023 highlight was the release of the Carbon Bombs report, a joint project with Friends of the Earth Europe and other member organisations. The report revealed that at least 107 of 425 of the world’s biggest fossil fuel extraction projects, known as ‘carbon bombs’ are operated by EU-based companies like Total Energies, Shell, RWE, and ENI, or financed by major European banks. The report also sets out the case for legally binding climate reduction targets for companies, their enablers, the EU’s financial sector, and the EU Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive (CSDDD).