Just Transition Fund: Fossil fuels prohibited and gas still in?

Yesterday the EU-Parliament voted a paradox into its report for the Just Transition Fund. While the controversial paragraphs concerning the funding of natural gas projects remained, at the same time the text contains a clear prohibition of fossil fuel subsidies. The only reasonable answer remains a clear no to gas.

For the time being, the controversial passages on the funding of gas projects remain in the parliamentary report on the Just Transition Fund (JTF). During the last weeks and months, the Greens/EFA had exerted pressure to scrap the corresponding paragraphs. Although the Social Democrats could be convinced on the last meters, in the end it was not enough. The Christian Democrats (EPP) and the Liberals (Renew), together with the right-wing and right-extremist factions (ECR and ID) voted to keep gas subsiding in the legislative text. The EPP together with ECR and ID even advocated for unlimited gas extraction.
Niklas Nienass (MEP, Greens/EFA) and Green shadow rapporteur for the JTF:
„On the big stage, the Liberals hardly miss a chance to show themselves committed to climate protection. But when it actually gets down to it, they draw in their horns. While nobody expected anything else from the Christian Democrats, it is shocking to witness that they voted jointly with the right and right-wing extremist groups to enable the unconditional funding of gas. Once again, it has been proven that consistent climate protection is only possible with the Greens. We are pleased that with our clear position we were able to convince the Social Democrats and many individual members of other groups to vote against gas after all.”

In the vote, the Greens/EFA achieved a partial success. Despite the gas paragraphs, another part of the report now clearly states that fossil fuel subsidies through the JTF is prohibited. Indisputably gas does fall under the category of fossil fuels, the question arises whether the parliamentary vote for gas will be legally binding at all.
„The parliament has voted a paradox into its report. On the one hand, the prohibition of fossil fuel funding. On the other hand, a long paragraph elaborating on the funding possibilities for gas projects. That simply does not add up. Tomorrow we Greens will vote against the JTF report in its current form. At the latest in the trialogue negotiations we will ensure that gas funding will finally be removed from the JTF.“

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