Existing fossil gas supply infrastructure can satisfy EU demand under any scenario, including under a rapid coal phase-out. Making this infrastructure eligible for EU funds would be an ineffective use of taxpayer money and run counter to agreed and proposed climate targets. Additional EU funding would only add to stranded assets. This is particularly pertinent to funds explicitly intended to support a transition to climate neutrality, such as the Just Transition, Regional Development and Recovery funds. Limited public money should be directed to best in class solutions for the climate-neutral transition, including renewables and energy efficiency.
Fossil gas demand is decreasing in Europe: subsidies are not needed to expand it. All credible scenarios, including European Commission projections on Paris Agreement compliant pathways to climate neutrality, show fossil gas demand decreasing from now until 2030 and beyond (figure 1) as the direct use of (renewable) electricity becomes an increasingly important part of the energy mix, alongside efficiency improvements.