Today MEPs voted in committee to allow gas to receive Just Transition funding, potentially locking European communities into fossil fuels for decades to come.
This is despite gas being excluded in the European Commission’s original proposal, and both EU Member States and the EU Committee of the Regions opposing gas in the Just Transition Fund.
Not only would the position adopted today permit retrofits to existing gas infrastructure, but it could also permit the massive expansion of completely new fossil gas infrastructure.
”Gas is a dead-end on the road to a just and climate-neutral Europe. Throwing money at it risks worsening climate change, creating no lasting jobs, and wasting billions of Euros which could be invested in job-friendly, sustainable wind and solar power”, commentedKatie Treadwell, Energy Policy Officer at WWF European Policy Office.
“The Parliament must correct today’s mistake in September in plenary, and align its position on the Just Transition Fund with its green rhetoric. They must vote for a Just Transition Fund which allows regions to leap forward: this means they must vote to exclude all fossil fuels, without exception,” addedTreadwell.
Fossil gas has no role as a transitional fuel. Investments in renewable energy are often cheaper, especially when considered over the longer term, and pose no risk of stranded assets. New fossil gas infrastructure is inconsistent with carbon budgets that would limit global temperature rises to 1.5 and it can even accelerate climate change versus coal, because methane emissions are 86 times more potent as warming gases than CO2. Renewable energy furthermore has higher job creation potential, generating over twice as many jobs as fossil investment.