Fossil fuel subsidies set to continue despite EU emissions targets

fossil fuel subsidies
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Five EU Member States intend to introduce new fossil fuel subsidies into their budgets by 2030, despite the EU’s commitment to mitigating climate change.

A new report, titled ‘Fossil fuel subsidies in draft EU National Energy and Climate Plans: shortcomings and final call for action’ and jointly compiled by experts from Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe, Friends of the Earth (FoE) Netherlands and the Overseas Development Institute (ODI), investigated Member States’ draft National Energy and Climate Plans (NECPs), which should theoretically detail the plans of national governments to phase out fossil fuel subsidies in line with wider climate targets. The report found, however, that the majority of Member States have few or no plans to eliminate the subsidies; while Germany, Greece, Poland, Slovenia and the UK have plans to actively introduce more subsidies.

The report’s lead author Laurie van der Burg, climate and energy researcher at FoE Netherlands, said: “As part of the G20, EU governments committed to ending fossil fuel subsidies back in 2009. Ten years later, as the world is in the midst of a climate crisis, EU governments continue to provide huge sums of taxpayers’ money to fossil fuels, the single biggest cause of climate change. If EU governments are serious about climate action, they must turn their longstanding commitments to ending fossil fuel subsidies into concrete action plans. This will not only help address climate change but will also free up scarce resources that can be better spent to build a sustainable future.”

Ipek Gencsu, research fellow at ODI and co-author of the report, said: “The climate crisis is more apparent than ever, with Europe suffering from unprecedented heat waves in recent months which has led to loss of lives. European governments have been stating their desire to act but continuing to pour billions of euros into fossil fuels does the exact opposite, locking countries into dirty, outdated energy systems and exacerbating the risks of climate change.”

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