Open Letter – EU funding must leapfrog fossil fuel use to renewable energy and energy savings

Businesses, local authorities and NGOs urge members of the European Parliament voting on the future Cohesion Policy to exclude fossil fuel support and help EU’s regions leapfrog fossil fuel use to renewable energy and energy savings.

The European Commission has proposed to exclude fossil fuel funding from the next generation of Cohesion Policy funding. The vote of the Members of European Parliament on the European Regional Development Fund will decide if they turn back the clock, promoting investments in fossil fuel infrastructure which then will stay for decades, or if they will choose a path of sustainable development for Europe’s regions, bringing them new jobs, competitiveness and modernisation.

To make decarbonisation a reality, voting down the eligibility of fossil fuels, including gas, is key. Fossil gas is a fuel with substantial CO2 and methane emissions contributing to climate change and its catastrophic impacts. Moreover, fossil gas infrastructure is not compatible with most renewable gases, and almost certainly not for all gases at scale. Funding gas and prolonging the lifetime of existing coal capacity would lock European economies into fossil fuel dependency for decades, while at the same time hampering technically and economically feasible, climate-friendly solutions.

In the following open letter, businesses, local authorities and NGOs urge members of the European Parliament voting on the future Cohesion Policy to exclude fossil fuel support and help EU’s regions leapfrog fossil fuel use to renewable energy and energy savings.