EU Countries Have ‘No Plans’ To End Support For Fossil Fuels

  • Date: 09/09/19
  • EurActiv

Not a single EU member state has so far spelled out a comprehensive plan to phase out fossil fuel subsidies, despite a commitment taken at the G20 ten years ago to eliminate them, according to a fresh analysis of the bloc’s 28 National Energy and Climate Plans.

Only nine EU countries have reiterated their commitment to end fossil fuel subsidies as part of their national plans, according to the analysis by the Overseas Development Institute (ODI), Friends of the Earth Netherlands, and Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe.

And while six of them envisage concrete steps, these are often limited to targeted subsidy schemes, rather than a comprehensive plan, the analysis found.

Worse, five EU countries – the UK, Germany, Greece, Poland, and Slovenia – are even looking to introduce new subsidies by 2030, many of which are labelled as ‘low-carbon transition support’. This includes a Greek scheme aimed at replacing diesel boilers with gas-fired ones and funding for liquefied natural gas transportation in Poland, the researchers found.

At the G20 in 2009, EU governments committed to stop subsidising fossil fuels, a pledge they reiterated at the G7 in 2016, agreeing to a deadline of 2025.

Each year, at least US$100 billion goes to support the production and consumption of oil, gas and coal, according to a major new study published on Monday (4 June). That is despite a promise from all G7 and G20 members to stop subsidising fossil fuels by 2025. […]

EU governments provided on average €55 billion per year in fossil fuel subsidies between 2014 and 2016, according to research contracted by the European Commission, a level which stayed broadly stable over that period.

At the same time, EU countries and Norway earned more than €400 billion in revenue from oil and gas taxation in 2017, according to the International Association of Oil and Gas Producers, underlining the difficulty for governments to end the subsidies. And when France introduced a fuel tax in 2018, it unleashed a wave of violent protests known as the ‘yellow vests’, which lasted for several months.

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