Europeans demand: stop burning our money with coal!

Energy transition| Financing the transition

Despite their unprofitability and their harmful impacts on our climate, environment and health, coal power plants still receive massive public subsidies. This is why more than 115,000 Europeans have signed the petition “Let’s move beyond coal!” to call on EU leaders to stop pouring taxpayers’ money into coal through so-called capacity mechanisms.

Next week EU decision-makers will discuss the future of capacity mechanisms at the upcoming trilogue negotiations on the EU electricity market. EU citizens together with Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe and its Europe Beyond Coal campaign urge them to support the clean energy transition and stop capacity mechanisms from subsidising coal.

Capacity mechanisms, which are supposedly intended to ensure supply in case extra power is needed, have become the largest single source of subsidies to power plants, adding almost €58 billion to energy bills across the European Union.

In order to limit funding for the most polluting power plants, and in particular coal-powered ones, the European Parliament has backed the European Commission’s proposal to exclude plants emitting more than 550 grams of CO2 per kWh from capacity mechanism support. However, some governments, including the Polish one, are lobbying against this much needed limitation on the use of capacity mechanisms. For that reason, the Council in its current position wants to delay the enforcement of this “550 rule” until 2035.

Wendel Trio, Director of Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe, said:
“The recently published IPCC Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5°C shows that keeping temperature rise to 1.5°C is still feasible, but requires an unprecedented shift in action. The EU needs to rapidly phase out coal and other fossil fuels, instead of subsidising them. All eyes are now on Member States to prove that they support the clean energy transition and rule out toxic funding from capacity mechanisms.”

Mahi Sideridou, Managing Director of the Europe Beyond Coal campaign, said:
“While more and more European countries and companies are going coal-free, there are still governments resisting progress, despite knowing that this outdated fuel hurts people’s health and the environment. Today, we bring the voices of Europeans to Brussels to tell EU decision-makers to stop wasting taxpayer money propping up coal. It’s time to focus on things that improve lives instead: renewable energy, energy efficiency and communities transitioning away from coal.”



Nicolas Derobert, CAN Europe Communications Coordinator,, +32 483 62 18 88
Greg McNevin, Communications Director, Europe Beyond Coal, +49 1605 247 857 (English)
Mahi Sideridou, Managing Director, Europe Beyond Coal (Greek, English), +45 93 602033

Note to editors:
Photos of the delivery of the petition, that took place yesterday in the European Parliament, are available here.


Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe is Europe’s leading NGO coalition fighting dangerous climate change. With over 150 member organisations from 35 European countries, representing over 1.700 NGOs and more than 40 million citizens, CAN Europe promotes sustainable climate, energy and development policies throughout Europe.


Press release

Leading Environment and Climate Organisations Score European Parliament’s 2019-2024 Performance ​

New in-depth data research from five leading climate and environment organisations reveals that only a minority of MEPs during the 2019 – 2024 mandate acted to protect Europe’s climate, nature and air quality. The majority of MEPs acted instead as either procrastinators or prehistoric thinkers, delaying real action with patchy and inconsistent voting records, or worse, completely failing to rise to the challenge of the crises Europe is facing.

Read More »