For a fossil fuel-free Just Transition – Open Letter to the European Parliament

As the Just Transition Fund is voted upon in the REGI Committee, it is essential that Members of the European Parliament exclude natural gas projects from its scope of funding.

What’s happening?

The European Parliament’s Committee on Regional Development (REGI) is voting on the EU Just Transition Fund – which aims to support EU regions in their transition to climate neutrality – on 6 July. They have the chance to follow the EU Council, which last week agreed to fully exclude fossil fuels from funding. The Parliament voted to exclude fossil fuels from EU regional funds in March 2019.

It is vital that following this vote, fossil fuels remain excluded from the scope of funding of the Just Transition Fund.

62 NGOs including WWF and Climate Action Network Europe have today sent an open letter to all MEPs in the committee, urging them to vote against including gas in the Fund.

Why does it matter?

The gas industry is pushing hard for Just Transition Fund money. This would directly contradict the concept of a just transition to a zero carbon economy. Fossil gas has no role as a transitional fuel: it accelerates climate change and leaked methane emissions can make it worse for the climate than coal. There is also zero evidence that it would create many or decent jobs, while every $1 million (USD) invested in renewables creates three times more jobs than in fossil fuels. 

Last but not least, giving priority and money to gas projects would cement Europe’s future in a gas lock-in over the next 40-50 years and waste up to €29 billion of EU taxpayers’ money in stranded assets.

What do we want?

To truly deliver, the EU Just Transition Mechanism should do three key things:

  • Exclude gas and other fossil fuels – only projects consistent with a sustainable and climate neutral Europe by 2040 should be financed.
  • Require plans to be aligned with EU climate targets to access funds, reward climate ambition and include coal phase-out dates of 2030 latest, and gas phase-out dates of 2035 latest.
  • Encourage and enable effective partnerships by supporting transparency and meaningful engagement, including with civil society, local governments and trade unions.

Read the Open Letter below.


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OPEN LETTER TO MEMBERS OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT REGI COMMITTEE : The Just Transition has to be fossil fuel-free

070220_open_letter_to_members_of_the_european_parliament_regi_committee.pdf