Cohesion policy funding: fossil fuels for the regions?
The Cohesion Fund and the European Regional Development Fund aim to reduce economic and social disparities throughout Europe and to promote sustainable development. These are the main instruments to help less developed regions in Europe convert into modern and sustainable economies.
But have these funds served sustainable climate and people-friendly projects so far? For the period 2014-2020 seven Member States and regions intend to spend 930 million euros in all for natural-gas infrastructure, in particular gas pipelines and storage, hindering the transition to zero-emission economies.
While current European Commission proposals for the funds post-2020 exclude investments related to the production, processing, distribution and storage or combustion of fossil fuels, they missed out on preventing a potential other avenue for the use of fossil gas: to fuel our ever increasing use of cars and trucks. Rather than shifting from oil to gas, our mobility needs to change: less motorised transport and where needed our transport system needs to be based on fully renewable energy sources.
But to get it worse, some EU Parliamentarians and some Member States are currently aiming to get rid of this general exclusion of fossil fuels from regional development funding.
If we want to improve our air quality, climate, and livelihoods, the fund must only be used to support electric and zero-emission transport, the only future-proof transport solutions.
Check the results