September 10, 2019
Five EU countries including the UK, Germany, Greece, Poland, and Slovenia are looking to introduce new fossil fuel subsidies by 2030, an analysis of the 28 Member States’ draft energy and climate plans (NECPs) has revealed.
In a new report, “Fossil fuel subsidies in draft EU National Energy and Climate Plans: Shortcomings and final call for action,” experts from the Overseas Development Institute (ODI), Friends of the Earth (FoE) Netherlands, and Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe have analyzed the EU Member States’ draft NECPs, which require governments to report on their fossil fuel subsidies and plans to phase them out, the CAN has said in a press release.
None of the EU Member States comprehensively report on their fossil fuel subsidies nor provide plans to phase them out
Despite long-standing commitments to ending fossil fuel subsidies, none of the EU Member States comprehensively report on their fossil fuel subsidies nor provide plans to phase them out.
The UK, Germany, Greece, Poland, and Slovenia even plan to introduce new fossil fuel subsidies, at a time of heightened awareness of the climate crisis and despite committing ten years ago to end such support, the CAN said.
Greece mentions that it will introduce a subsidy aimed at replacing diesel boilers with fossil gas-fired ones
For instance, Greece mentions that it will introduce a subsidy aimed at replacing diesel boilers with fossil gas-fired ones, and Poland intends to provide subsidies for underground gas storage and the use of liquified natural gas (LNG) for transport.
The authors of the report found that several of the NECPs made no mention of fossil fuel subsidies at all, despite previous research showing all EU governments are continuing to provide support to oil, gas or coal.
UK provides EUR 12 billion each year through tax breaks and budgetary transfers alone, more than any other EU state
The report finds that six Member States – Bulgaria, Denmark, France, Hungary, the Netherlands and the UK – claim no such subsidies exist in the country.
This is despite the European Commission previously finding all EU countries continue to provide some support to fossil fuels, with the UK providing EUR 12 billion each year through tax breaks and budgetary transfers alone, more than any other EU state, the CAN 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,” lead author Laurie van der Burg, climate and energy researcher at FoE Netherlands, said.