The European Parliament has adopted its position on the Just Transition Fund (JTF), and has allowed for fossil gas subsidies to be included while the goal of the fund is to support fossil-fuel reliant regions in their swift transition to climate neutrality, away from fossil fuels. This vote clearly contradicts last week Parliament’s call for much-needed 60% greenhouse gas emission cuts in the EU by 2030, and multiple earlier commitments to end fossil fuel subsidies.
Last week, the European Parliament urged to do more to address the climate emergency and endorsed a target to reduce emissions by 60% in the EU. It has also been calling for the phase out of fossil fuel subsidies at several occasions: only in January 2020, within its ‘European Green Deal resolution’, the European Parliament said it “insists on a rapid phase-out of direct and indirect fossil fuel subsidies by 2020 in the EU and in each Member State.”
Today’s vote is not consistent with these earlier statements, as it paves the way for new fossil fuel subsidies.
This also flies in the face of the European Commission and EU Member States who decided to exclude all fossil fuels from the 17,5 billions euro fund earlier this year.
It is regrettable that access to the fund is not made conditional on national coal phase-out commitments by 2030. A recent report has shown that the Member States that will benefit the most from the Just Transition Fund are also the ones who are not planning to phase out coal by 2030.
Markus Trilling, finance and subsidies policy coordinator at Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe said: “The European Parliament is clearly two-faced on climate action. While calling for a much needed increase in climate ambition, the Parliament also allows for more fossil fuel subsidies from the EU budget.”
“Investing in fossil gas will lock-in the EU into more polluting emissions in the next decades, while making it more difficult for carbon-intensive regions to become climate neutral. Fossil gas is an economic dead-end in this time of economic crisis, as renewables and buildings renovation provide three times more jobs than any fossil fuel. Today’s vote is a triple loss for people, the economy, and the climate.”
Trilling added: “If the Parliament wants to merit its climate credits, MEPs will have to exclude all fossil fuels from the other EU funds, Cohesion Policy and the Recovery and Resilience Facility in particular.”
Nicolas Derobert, Head of communications, firstname.lastname@example.org, +32 483 62 18 88
Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe is Europe’s leading NGO coalition fighting dangerous climate change. With over 170 member organisations active in 38 European countries, representing over 1.500 NGOs and more than 47million citizens, CAN Europe promotes sustainable climate, energy and development policies throughout Europe.