MEPs must not allow funding for new gas
September 8, 2020
By Katie Treadwell
Energy Policy Officer at WWF EU
IMAGE: WWF EU
To the gas lobby, the concept of 'fake news' is all too familiar. It has been writing its own fake news for years, using its wealth and influence to portray itself as a clean and sustainable "transition fuel".
It's no surprise that the industry is worried: the writing's on the wall for fossil fuels. We are moving towards a zero carbon EU, and gas is terrible for the climate - leaked methane emissions can make it even worse than coal.
Yes despite the facts, and with a crucial European Parliament vote just days away, the industry's efforts appear to be paying off.
In the week of 14 September, MEPs will vote in plenary on the EU's Just Transition Fund. The gas industry wants its product and infrastructure to be eligible for funding. That's right, the EUR 17.5 billion fund specifically set up to help regions leave fossil fuels behind and move to sustainable, zero carbon jobs. Never say the gas industry isn't audacious!
The industry's siren song - or maybe it's fairer to say, its enormous reserves of wealth and influence - appear to be reaching MEPs. While the often more conservative EU Council agreed to keep gas out of the fund, the usually more progressive European Parliament plumped for gas in a committee vote in July.
27 MEPs - including all members from Renew and the S&D, whose groups have publicly proclaimed their commitment to the European Green Deal which aims for a net zero emissions EU by 2050 - voted to allow fossil gas investments into the fund with no strings attached.
Next week the Parliament has a chance to bring the ship around when MEPs vote. WWF and other organisations are writing to them all, to urge them to correct the earlier vote and show the European Parliament means what it says about a green and sustainable future with decent sustainable jobs for all, by excluding gas from the Just Transition Fund and from all EU funds.
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