EU countries have ‘no concrete plans’ to phase out fossil fuel subsidies: report

(EurActiv, 9 Sep 2019) 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.

“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,” said Laurie van der Burg, from Friends of the Earth Netherlands.

“If EU governments are serious about climate action, they must turn their longstanding commitments to ending fossil fuel subsidies into concrete action plans,” van der Burg said in a statement.

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EurActiv, 9 Sep 2019: EU countries have ‘no concrete plans’ to phase out fossil fuel subsidies: report