Friends of the Earth Belgium (Wallonia and Brussels) staged a symbolic ‘failed marriage’ today outside the cathedral in Brussels, decrying the merger between the energy provider, Lampiris and energy giant, Total.
The action was part of the organisations “Fossil Free, we change suppliers” campaign, in which the group are calling for renewable energy solutions in the hands of cooperatives and local providers, not multinational energy corporations.
Until recently, Lampiris had the reputation of being a green and local energy provider in Belgium. However, in June of 2016, Lampiris was bought by the huge energy company Total. Total has a proven disregard for the environment according to the organisation – with fossil fuel interests worldwide.
Benoit Coumont from Friends of the Earth Belgium said: “For years, one of Lampiris’ main selling points was that it was local and trustworthy, so many customers were shocked when they heard it was being bought out by a multinational. The good news is that it is now a lot easier for people to find energy providers that match their social and environmental values so it was easy for the thousands of Lampiris customers to switch to cooperatives and local providers of energy.”
Despite Lampiris’ efforts to reassure customers, many have switched to different providers. Some of these alternative providers include Energy 2030 and Cociter which are active in French speaking Belgium. Both providers are environmentally friendly and local.
Benoit continued: “We need an Energy Transition that is fast, fair and democratic. This kind of transition will be led by communities and citizens not by multinational energy companies like Total, and now Lampiris.”
Friends of the Earth Belgium continues to fight for clean energy – with a large demonstration against nuclear energy scheduled on June 25th in Tihange, one of Belgium’s two ageing nuclear power stations.