On Monday 26th, UKYCC, Food & Water Europe, and Counterbalance joined forces to award the EU a special gas award as part of Climate Action Network’s Fossil Fuel Subsidies Awards campaign, highlighting the billions of euros that the EU has collectively pumped into gas infrastructure.
These enormous subsidies have polluted our air and funded gas projects that are associated with human rights violations, corruption, and environmental destruction.
Between 2014-16, the EU provided an average of €4 billion towards fossil fuels, most of which went to gas infrastructure. This spending has continued since 2016 with more planned for the future. The false narratives that advertise gas as a ‘clean’, ‘transition fuel’ have become fully rooted within the EU, and are now being used as a pretense to justify outrageous gas spending.
Some of these include:
– The Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) which is part of the EU budget and under direct management of the European Commission, has already provided over €1.3 billion to fossil gas infrastructure projects including: the Croatian Krk LNG terminal; the Southern Gas Corridor; the Midcat pipeline between Spain and France; and the EastMed pipeline.
– The European Investment Bank (EIB) which in February 2018, granted Europe’s largest ever loan to a fossil fuel project, doling out €1.5 billion to the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP), the western leg of the Southern Gas Corridor, a 3,500km pipeline crossing six countries from Azerbaijan to Europe. There has been no full climate impact assessment of the project.
– Again in March, the EIB then channeled another €932 million to the Trans Anatolian Pipeline (TANAP). This funding is not only disastrous from a climate perspective, but involves the authoritarian regimes in Turkey and Azerbaijan, linking an EU infrastructure project to regimes with flagrant democracy and human rights violations.
The EU needs to phase out all fossil fuels by 2035 in order to keep to its commitments under the Paris Agreement and avoid dangerous climate change. If we have any hope in mitigating catastrophic climate change, we must relinquish our addiction to gas.