MEPs’ dirty deal lets fossil gas into climate fund

Posted on 16 September 2020

Renew and EPP closed ranks to let gas in
MEPs rendered their ‘climate emergency’ declaration null and void in one fell swoop last night, voting in plenary to allow fossil gas to get money from the EU Just Transition fund. The fund was set up to help Europe’s regions achieve a net zero carbon economy in a socially fair way.

Despite the fact that gas power is incompatible with the EU’s climate neutrality target, and far less effective for job creation than renewable energy, MEPs from the Renew and EPP groups closed ranks to ensure the gas industry will be eligible for the fund.

Katie Treadwell, Energy Policy Officer at WWF European Policy Office said:
“It’s simple: MEPs just agreed that taxpayer money can be used to pay for fossil gas, risking locking us in to stranded assets and climate pollution, and ramping up the costs of the transition. It’s a massive blow to those the fund was supposed to support in the move to climate neutrality. All those who want a just and green recovery from the economic crisis should rise up and condemn the European Parliament today.”

MEPs’ position is directly opposed to that of the European Commission, EU Member States and the EU Committee of the Regions, which all opposed the inclusion of gas. Civil society is also united against fossil fuels in the Fund, with over 60 NGOs sending an open letter to MEPs early this week.

On 24 September 2020, WWF is organising with the city of Bytom, Upper Silesia, the third meeting of mayors from European coal regions to discuss a future beyond coal. The keynote speech will be given by EU Commission Executive Vice-President Timmermans. Info here and register here.

Katie Treadwell
Energy Policy Officer
WWF European Policy Office
+32 470 73 57 48

Sarah Azau
Media Manager
WWF European Policy Office
+32 473 573 137
Bytom in Poland was a coal mining area. the EU just transition fund can help Europe's regions move beyond fossil fuels to a climate neutral economy.
© Bytom town council