Brussels – Access to EU ‘green’ funding must be limited to governments committed to coal phase out dates, said Greenpeace, as the European Commission unveiled a €1 trillion investment package for the coming decade. The package, made up of reallocated EU and national funds, as well as private money, is the first element of the Commission’s European Green Deal presented in December 2019.
As part of the package, the Just Transition Mechanism, worth around €100 billion between 2021 and 2027, will support the EU regions currently most reliant on fossil fuels. The Commission today proposed a set of conditions to access a small part of this mechanism, worth €7.5 billion in EU public money and known as the Just Transition Fund. This will require the approval of European governments and the European Parliament.
At the same time, the lion’s share of the EU’s budget continues to allow investments into fossil fuels and nuclear energy.
Greenpeace EU climate and energy adviser Sebastian Mang said: “If this funding is really meant to promote a green transition, it must only be available to governments that are committed to that transition and have a clear plan to ditch coal. If they want the cash, the likes of Poland and the Czech Republic will have to prove they are serious about tackling the climate emergency. For the European Green Deal to be successful, all funding, including from the EU budget, needs to stop supporting fossil fuels, nuclear energy and other destructive industries.”
The EU budget subsidises fossil fuels, for example under the Regional Development Fund and the Connecting Europe Facility. In the current Connecting Europe Facility, nearly €1.5 billion has so far financed new gas infrastructure. The new Connecting Europe Facility, for 2021 to 2027, will still allow funding of fossil fuels, with a substantial part of the proposed €43.3 billion expected to again go to gas projects.
Poland is particularly keen to access green investment funds, despite the government’s refusal to commit to EU climate action and set a phase out date for coal.
To be in line with the Paris climate agreement, environmental groups are calling for the use of coal to be phased out in Europe by 2030, and all fossil fuels by 2040.
Sebastian Mang – Greenpeace EU climate policy adviser: +32 (0)479 601289, [email protected]
Greenpeace EU press desk: +32 (0)2 274 1911, [email protected]
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