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Fossil fuels should not be allowed under the Just Transition Fund

(3 Jul 2020) Press release – A large number of European organisations, including eceee, urge the Parliament not to allow fossil fuels to be eligible for financing through the EU 40 billion EUR Just Transition Fund. A crucial vote takes place on the 6th of July.

The EU Just Transition Fund Regulation will be voted on in the lead European Parliament Committee, REGI, on Monday 6th July. The current rapporteur and several political groups are pushing heavily for an exemption that would allow fossil gas projects to be financed with the 40 billion EUR fund. 

The positions adopted by the Parliament will go forward to the trilogues negotiations with the Council. The Council voted last week to exclude fossil fuels from the Just Transition Fund (JTF) - a move which is threatened by the potential adoption by the Parliament of a less progressive position. What happens in the JTF is likely to impact and influence discussions on other funds including other cohesion policy funds and the large Recovery and Resilience Facility.

WWF and CAN Europe yesterday (2 July) sent an open letter addressed to all REGI committee members. It calls out the Parliament for threatening the transition to climate neutrality and undermining the just transition by allowing funds to go to fossil gas. eceee strongly supports this letter.

The letter calls on the REGI members to vote in favour of a better future for communities by voting for regions to leap forward, not backwards.

"We share the view of dozens of European organisations, as well as the Councial, and ask the REGI Committee to exclude fossil fuels from the Just Transition Fund including fossil gas. A just transition for all must be supported" says Nils Borg eceee Executive Director.

The EU’s Just Transition Fund is an integral part of the EU Green Deal. It has the potential to ensure that Europe’s transition to a climate neutral, resilient and healthy future leaves no region - or person - behind. But this requires a strong commitment to a climate-neutrality goal that would limit global temperature rise to 1.5°C.

Communities have an opportunity to leap forward to a more sustainable, more resilient and healthier future away from carbon extractive industries. Investing in fossil gas comes with huge cost to the climate, Europe’s competitiveness and European societies. Meanwhile, renewable energy investments bring up to three times more jobs3 per euro invested than the same amount invested in fossil fuels - and renewable jobs are more likely to be local than those in fossil gas.

It’s time to face the truth: fossil gas has no place in EU funds, including the Just Transition Fund. The Council realised this and so too must the Parliament.