News in brief

Fossil-fuelled future?

Despite the severity of the climate crisis, oil and gas companies around the world are still on a massive expansion course.

That’s the conclusion of the latest authoritative GOGEL survey of oil and gas exploration and development, in a report launched on 10 November at the COP27 climate talks in Egypt.

GOGEL (the Global Oil and Gas Exit List) is a public database maintained by 51 respected NGOs including Urgewald of Germany.

GOGEL monitors the activities of 901 companies responsible for 

95 percent of the world’s oil and gas production.

Most of these are ‘upstream’ – exploration and production companies who find fossil fuel deposits, drill wells, and extract oil and gas from underground.

Out of the 685 upstream companies on the GOGEL list, 655 (96 percent) have plans to expand their production or develop new resources.

According to the 2021 International Energy Agency (IEA) report, Net Zero by 2050: ‘No fossil fuel exploration is required in the NZE [net-zero emissions scenario] as no new oil and natural gas fields are required beyond those that have already been approved for development.’

Instead, the industry is still exploring for new oil and gas deposits and developing new fields on a large scale.

Since the last GOGEL update in 2021, the industry’s short-term expansion plans have increased by 20 percent.

‘The result of our calculations is really startling: 51.6 percent of the short-term expansion plans of oil and gas companies do not correspond to the net-zero emissions path of the IEA,’ says Fiona Hauke, senior oil and gas researcher at Urgewald. ‘To be able to meet the 1.5 degree limit, it is imperative that these oil and gas resources remain underground.’

According to the GOGEL monitoring group, 512 oil and gas companies are taking active steps to bring the equivalent of 230bn barrels of oil from undeveloped resources into production within the next one to seven years.

The extraction and burning of these resources will release about 115 gigatons of CO2 equivalent (CO2e) into the atmosphere.

That’s 30 times the EU’s annual greenhouse gas emissions.

Even if the oil and gas industry were to hold off on these expansion plans, and held steady at its 2021 production level of 56bn barrels, this alone would exhaust the world’s remaining CO2e budget by 2039, according to GOGEL researchers.

GOGEL researchers warn that the planned construction of new fossil-fuel infrastructure with a lifespan of decades (such as the massive Trans-Sahara liquified natural gas pipeline) could lock the world into a high-emissions path for the long term.

Did you read?

Transnational Institute reports:

30 November: Smoke Screen: How states are using the war in Ukraine to drive a new arms race

14 November: Climate Collateral: How Military Spending Accelerates Climate Breakdown

Did you hear?

Training for Change podcast: The Craft of Campaigns, launched on 15 November, highlights amazing issue-based action campaigns. There are three episodes so far.

Did you see?

A round-up of recent peace movement online videos.

Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament - 2 November:  ‘What are “tactical” nuclear weapons? And will they lead to Armageddon?’ With professor Paul Rogers and others.

Drone Wars UK - 3 November: ‘Pandora’s Box: Reflecting on 20 years of drone targeted killing.’ With Agnes Callamard, Amnesty International secretary general, and others.

Nuclear Information Service - 9 November: ‘Sword of Damocles: The Life and Work of John Ainslie.’ With Rob Edwards and others.

Peace & Justice - 21 September: ‘Global peace and security after Ukraine.’ With Ukrainian pacifist Yuri Sheliazhenko and others.

Note: Peace & Justice (formerly the Edinburgh Peace & Justice Centre, and not to be confused with Jeremy Corbyn’s Peace and Justice Project or the Catholic group Justice & Peace Scotland) recently moved to 58 Ratcliffe Terrace, Edinburgh.

Spirit in Action - 1 November: ‘A Life of Justice Passion and Activism: Celebrating the Life and Work of Linda Stout.’ Linda, an extraordinary working-class US activist and author, co-founded the Piedmont Peace Project in 1985.

Swords to Ploughshares Ireland - 9 November: ‘Human and Ecological Security: an Alternative to War & Militarism.’ With Diana Francis and others.

Transnational Institute - 14 September: ‘Ukraine, Imperialisms and a new International Order.’ With Phyllis Bennis and others.

Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom - 4 October: ‘A Climate of Insecurity for COP27 – How the West has Militarised & Impoverished the African Continent’. 27 October: ‘A Climate of Insecurity for COP27 – The impacts of the Climate Crisis on Women, Peace, and Security in the MENA Region’.


Good news and bad news from the war in Yemen. A truce between the (British-armed) Saudi-led coalition and their Houthi opponents broke down on 2 October – but the country has not returned to full-scale war.

More aid has been able to get into Yemen – but a top UN humanitarian official said on 22 November that 17 million people in the country ‘still do not know where they will get their next meal’.

The UN did raise enough money to stabilise the FSO Safer, the abandoned oil tanker just outside the crucial port of Hodeidah (and work will begin soon on that) – but another $38m is needed to buy another tanker and transfer the FSO Safer’s 1mn barrels of oil to it.

It seems that the Houthis want to renew the truce, but they want a better deal, with payments for civil servants and retired soldiers in areas they control. To get this better deal, they have been carrying out drone attacks near tankers and oil terminals in coalition-controlled areas to end their access to oil.

This bombing was described to Reuters as ‘a pressure tool’ by analyst Maysaa Shuja Al-Deen.

Western Sahara

19 Saharawi activists continue to be unjustly imprisoned for their involvement in a nonviolent protest camp in Western Sahara in 2010, Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International reminded us on 8 November.

The Gdeim Izik camp grew to house more than 5,000 Saharawis nonviolently protesting against discrimination, poverty and human rights abuses under Moroccan occupation. Morocco has illegally occupied Western Sahara since 1975.

When Moroccan forces brutally broke up the tent city, 11 police officers died, and 25 organisers arrested the day before the police action were convicted for deaths that occurred after they had been arrested. They had been tortured into ‘confessions’. 19 remain in prison.

Lama Fakih, Middle East and North Africa director at Human Rights Watch, said: ‘The passage of time has only heightened the injustice in this case.’

Most of the Gdeim Izik 19 are being held in prisons at least 1,000 kilometres from Layoune, the city most of them are from. They have more than 10 years to go in prison.

On 10 October, an arts festival was held in Saharawi refugee camps to mark the 12th anniversary of the first Gdeim Izik tent going up.

  • You may want to write a polite letter about the Gdeim Izik 19 to His Excellency, Hakim Hajoui, Ambassador of Morocco, Embassy of Morocco, 6 Grosvenor Gardens, London SW1W 0DH. For the Amnesty report and more info: and
  • In other news, the Saharawi human rights activist Sultana Khaya (PN 2661) is still safe and well and speaking out in Europe.

Peace Prisoners

We’ve missed Peace Prisoners’ Day, 1 December, but if you’d like to write to someone imprisoned for their work for peace or a conscientious objector jailed for refusing to take up arms, War Resisters’ International (WRI) does have a long list of people you could write to.

This year, WRI is concentrating on activists in Russia and Ukraine – not just people in prison, but also people who’ve been fined or who’re facing sentencing.

The list of Russian peace activists is taken from:

Here’s the WRI list:

VfP UK Mk 2

After 11 years of valuable work, Veterans for Peace UK (VfP UK) closed in August. The group’s ex-treasurer, Alan Chick, is now trying to revive VfP UK as a British chapter of the US Veterans for Peace organisation (going since 1985).

One of the reasons VfP UK gave for closing was that ‘disruptive elements have embedded themselves within the organisation’.

The old VfP UK has a social on 21 January from 12 noon at the Crown Tavern, 43 Clerkenwell Green, London EC1R 0EG.

If you’ve served in the UK military and you’d like to join the new VfP, contact Alan here.


After the anti-deportation group Detention Action began legal proceedings against the Home Office, everyone in the overcrowded asylum-seeker processing centre in Manston, Kent, was moved to hotel accommodation by 22 November.

Earlier, on 6 November, hundreds of protestors from the Action Against Detention and Deportation coalition demonstrated outside the former RAF barracks.

Manston was only supposed to hold up to 1,600 people at a time, for a maximum of 24 hours each, while their claims were processed. It was instead holding over 4,000 people, many for weeks.

One death in Manston on 19 November may have been caused by diphtheria.


Qatar saw its first public LGBT rights demo on 25 October.

British human rights activist Peter Tatchell, 70, held up a placard in front of the National Museum of Qatar, in the capital, Doha. It read: ‘Qatar arrests, jails & subjects LGBTs to “conversion” #QatarAntiGay.’ With his colleague Simon Harris, he was detained and ‘advised’ to leave the country.

In Qatar, same-sex activity by men or women can lead to up to seven years in prison.

On 19 November, the day before the football World Cup started in Qatar, Tatchell joined 90 other protestors in an LGBT rights protest outside the country’s London embassy.

Hunger strikes

On 13 October, 30 Palestinian detainees ended a 19-day hunger strike aimed at the release of all Palestinian political prisoners held in Israeli prisons, including those held in detention without charge or trial.

In their statement, the 30 (who had been joined by another 20 prisoners on 9 October) said that they had won the release of ‘the sick and the elderly during the next two months’.

Adameer prisoner support:

150 Palestinians killed

On 4 November, Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP) reported escalating violence in the West Bank and occupied East Jerusalem with repeated military raids on Palestinian cities, routine use of excessive force, attacks by Jewish settlers and violations against healthcare workers and facilities.

In mid-October, with the rising tide of Israeli violence and Palestinian resistance, Electronic Intifada wondered: ‘Is Palestine on the brink of a full-scale revolt?’

According to Defence for Children International – Palestine, 49 Palestinian children have been shot and killed by Israeli forces or settlers in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip as of 16 November.

The office of the UN high commissioner for human rights (OHCHR) reported on 28 October: ‘At least 118 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli security forces in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, this year, including 26 children and five women. Three Palestinians, including one child, were killed by settlers or settlement guards, while another child was killed by either a settler or by Israeli security forces.’

According to the Israeli human rights group B’Tselem, Israeli forces killed 32 Palestinians in the Gaza Strip between 1 January and 30 September this year, making a total of at least 150 Palestinians killed by Israeli security forces by 1 November.

In contrast, according to OHCHR, just four Israeli security force personnel and one Israeli settlement guard were killed in the same period in the West Bank. No Israelis were killed in the Gaza Strip, according to B’Tselem, but nine Israeli civilians and one Israeli soldier were killed by Palestinians inside Israel itself in the period up to 30 September.

That’s a ratio of 10:1 – 150 Palestinians:15 Israelis killed – in the first 10 months of 2022.

In the Palestinian town of Huwarra, armed Israeli settlers went on a rampage several days in a row, attacking people and setting fire to vehicles and businesses. Meanwhile, the refugee camp of Shuafat in Jerusalem has been under an Israeli military-imposed lockdown, while a far-right Israeli politician walked freely in the next neighbourhood over, pulling a gun on Palestinian residents.

Medical Aid for Palestine: