EU agrees its green transition fund will not support natural gas

(EurActiv, 17 Dec 2020) The European Union’s flagship fund to wean regions off fossil fuels will not finance natural gas projects, EU governments said on Wednesday (16 December), ending a debate over whether to make the fuel eligible for support.

The Just Transition Fund will target regions dependent on most-polluting fuels, such as coal and peat, with Poland, Germany and Romania expected to be the biggest beneficiaries.

German Green lawmaker Niklas Nienass said he had supported this compromise as a way to minimise funding for fossil fuels.

“The margin to actually spend money on gas in the ERDF is quite small,” he said.

The Just Transition Fund will have 17.5 billion euros ($21.33 billion) from both a coronavirus recovery fund and the EU’s budget for 2021-27. The money is meant to attract further private sector cash to support green industries and retrain workers from polluting sectors.

“We cannot implement the European Green Deal without mitigating the consequences for those most affected by the decarbonisation of our economy,” German Economy Minister Peter Altmaier said in a statement, referring to the EU’s plan to eliminate its net greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

External link

EurActiv, 17 Dec 2020: EU agrees its green transition fund will not support natural gas