Gas subsidies included in EU Recovery Fund

Fossil gas will fall into the scope of the €672.5 billion EU recovery fund and “contradicts the Parliament’s multiple earlier commitments” to end fossil fuel subsidies, according to Europe’s largest climate coalition. 

MEPs from both the Budget and Economic Affairs Committee allowed for its inclusion yesterday as part of the Recovery and Resilience Facility. 

Markus Trilling of CAN Europe said the inclusion of fossil gas shows the European Parliament to be “two-faced on climate action” as the body declared a climate emergency and promotes further climate action but also allows for further fossil fuel subsidies in the EU budget. 

Additionally, within its resolution on a European Green Deal, the European Parliament said it “insists on a rapid phase-out of direct and indirect fossil fuel subsidies by 2020” across the EU and for each of the 27 Member States. 

“If the Parliament wants to merit its climate credits, MEPs will have to exclude all fossil fuels from the entire EU budget, Cohesion Policy, Just Transition and Recovery funding in particular,” Mr Trilling said. 

Last month the European Parliament voted to increase its 2030 target to a 60 per cent emissions reduction, which CAN Europe called a “significant step forward”. 

The Environment Committee of the Parliament shortly afterwards agreed that fossil fuel subsidies should be excluded from the multi-billion euro recovery fund pot in order to fund a clean energy transition, yet both leading Committees created exemptions for certain fossil gas projects yesterday. 

Gas has “no role in a Europe transitioning towards climate neutrality”, Esther Bollendorff of CAN Europe said. 

“Putting public money in fossil gas is like falling in a dangerous, dirty and expensive pipe-trap,” she warned. 

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