'Ending Fossil Fuel Subsidies in Europe' Newsletter No.2 - October 2016:

A monthly update on policy development, campaigning and communications

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A monthly update on policy development, campaigning and communications by CAN Europe

Newsletter No.2 - October 2016


The Juncker Investment Plan (EFSI): unambitious and incoherent on climate action

One and a half years after the launch of the European Fund for Strategic Investment (EFSI) – a three years initiative promoted by the Juncker Commission and managed by the European Investment Bank to boost new investments in Europe worth EUR 315 billion – both institutions are eager  to celebrate the successes and to highlight investments facilitated through the fund and a few selected showcase projects.

In relation to the announcements that a large share of the EU’s financial resources is to be climate-related, the EFSI is supposed to mobilise additional investments with climate and resource efficiency objectives, which constitutes a unique opportunity to foster the much-needed transformation of the EU’s energy systems.

What is European Fund for Strategic Investment (EFSI)?

The European Fund for Strategic Investments, launched jointly by the EIB Group - European Investment Bank and European Investment Fund - and the European Commission, is part of an initiative to help mobilizing private investments. This “Investment Plan for Europe” aims at improving the investment environment, at making sure investments reach the real economy (e.g. via the creation of the European Investment Project Portal and by increasing assistance to project promoters through the European Investment Advisory Hub) and to trigger additional investment of at least EUR 315 billion over a three year period (2015-2017). The EUR 315 billion investment target is supposed to be accomplished by financing provided by the EIB to projects carried out by private or public investors and based on a guarantee of EUR 16 billion from the EU budget, complemented by a EUR 5 billion allocation of the EIB’s own capital. The EIB should provide funding for those economically viable projects which have a higher risk profile than ordinary EIB activities. It will focus on various sectors, including:
•    Digital, transport and energy infrastructure
•    Education, research, development and innovation
•    Expansion of renewable energy and resource efficiency
•    Support for smaller businesses and midcap companies

However a joint study by Bankwatch, CAN Europe, WWF, Counter Balance and Friends of the Earth Europe assessing in detail how much the EFSI has so far contributed to the EU’s climate agenda, comes to less optimistic conclusions:

The EFSI portfolio shows a clear effort in encouraging renewables and energy efficiency projects. Whereas the share of energy efficiency and renewable energy investments in the EFSI is relatively high (around 30%), all energy efficiency investments happen in just three countries, the UK, France and Finland; and more than 50% of all investments into renewable energy take place in two countries only, the UK and Belgium.

And yet a concerning portion of the investments still supports fossil fuel projects.

A 15 per cent of the EFSI energy sector support was related to gas infrastructure, mostly transmission and distribution adding up to EUR 1.5 billion investments into fossil fuel infrastructure. These operations were approved without being scrutinized on the merit of their compliance with the EU 2030 and 2050 climate and energy frameworks. This is of particular concern as the EFSI regulation already explicitly requires alignment with EU’s long-term climate goals.

The EFSI legislation is currently being reviewed, aiming at prolonging its lifetime until 2020.  As a flagship initiative of the European Union, the EFSI should set a positive trend and clear fossil fuel projects off its agenda altogether. Instead, the EFSI should catalyse the transition away from fossil fuels and towards 100% renewables and fully energy efficient economies.

Get involved into the legislative procedure and distribute our BRIEFING: 

'EFSI 2.0: Make it climate proof, additional and transparent'

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European Environment AgencyTransforming the EU power sector: avoiding a carbon lock-in

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“A clear, forward-looking investment strategy is also necessary across the fossil fuel power sector to meet our long-term challenge to cut CO 2  emissions. Europe is committed to decarbonise its economy so we cannot afford to tie up our investments in emission-intensive technologies.”

Hans Bruyninckx, EEA Executive Director

UNEP: Sustainable Finance - Momentum to Transformation

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Earlier this month, the United Nations Environment Program released its second annual report on the theme 'Sustainable Finance - From Momentum to Transformation'. The report shows that momentum for reshaping the global financial system has grown, but that much more needs to be done to ensure it funds an “inclusive, prosperous and environmentally sound future"





- New Europe:

State aid: Commission approves Polish scheme to support high-efficiency co-generation of heat and power 


- Reuters:

France reaches agreement with EU over its power capacity mechanism


- Euractiv: 

NGOs criticise the Juncker Plan’s green credentials 


- Climate Home:

Is the UK about to break G7 fossil fuel subsidy pledge?


- Climate Home (article by Stockholm Environment Institute):

Closing the gap between Paris goals and fossil fuel production


- The Guardian:

No fracking, drilling or digging: it’s the only way to save life on Earth




State aid: Commission opens in-depth investigation into Luxembourg's tax treatment of GDF Suez (now Engie


(to open a report, click on the related image)

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& accompanying

scorecard of MDBs energy financing


Have any news you want to share or comments on the content ? Contact:

For continual news updates and useful ressources, visit our website.


- 19-21 October : DG REGIO is organising a seminar on Evaluation and Monitoring of EU Structural and Cohesion Funds programmes, 2014-2020

- 07 - 18 November: the EBRD will take part in several events focusing on climate finance at the COP22

- 09 - 10 November: EBRD is organising a conference called Reinvigorating Growth, Competitiveness and Investment - The EU from the Baltics, through Central Europe, to the Mediterranean

- 15 November: takes place the Fifth meeting of the Structured Dialogue with European Structural and Investment Funds' partners group of experts (ESIF SD)

Click on the calendar image to view events and add them to your calendar:

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The voice against fossil fuel subsidies has internationally grown stronger the last couple of years - both among civil society and world leaders - but it is apparent that European decision makers don’t feel enough pressure to start putting their money where their mouth is. A united voice from NGOs and other actors will help to steer the debate in the right direction – towards enhanced and fair climate action.  CAN Europe is working with members and non-members across Europe to support the development of a strong, common narrative on phasing out public financial support for fossil fuels. What is your story? Make it heard! Contact:


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