The European Commission today announced new subsidies for fossil fuels, with nearly €200 million for gas projects, as part of a larger package of energy investments for 2018.
This new pledge takes the total financing for fossil fuel infrastructure under the EU's flagship fund for energy infrastructure, the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF), to over €1.3 billion since 2014.
The funding supports the EU’s Projects of Common Interest (PCI list), containing 77 gas projects, however this list, which is under revision, has today been contested by MEPs on the energy committee (ITRE).
Antoine Simon, Fossil Free campaigner for Friends of the Earth Europe said:
“Gas is a dangerous fossil fuel which emits significant amounts of greenhouse gases. These €200 million taxpayer subsidies for new gas infrastructure are an outrage, and will shackle Europe to decades of fossil fuel use and undermine Europe’s commitment to stay within 1.5 degrees of global warming.
“The EU plans to fund some seriously controversial projects, even creating a new fossil fuel dependence in Cyprus and Malta which don’t currently use gas.
“Climate change is a planetary emergency which urgently requires Europe to end fossil gas subsidies and massively invest in renewable and energy efficiency programmes, not waste taxpayers money on decades more of fossil fuel use.”
The projects rewarded today will create gas demand where none exists presently - in Malta and Cyprus. Significant funds also go to controversial projects that have seen civil society opposition - like the Southern Gas Corridor, which has already been associated with serious human rights violations in Azerbajan; the MidCat pipeline between France and Spain facing growing protests on both side of the Pyreneans; and the Krk LNG terminal, for environmentally destructive shale gas imported from the US.
A recent Friends of the Earth study has shown new gas infrastructure is incompatible with the ambitious energy transition Europe needs to limit global warming.