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.11 - September-October 2017 (for browser version, click here)


Phase-out 2020: Monitoring Europe’s fossil fuel subsidies




September 28th, CAN Europe together with the Overseas Development Institute and Green Budget Germany, published a report on subsidies to fossil fuels in Europe. It focused on EU-level subsidies for fossil fuels, through its policies and mechanisms, as well as national fossil fuel subsidies of the following countries: Czech Republic, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom. Together these 11 European countries represent 83% of energy related GHG emissions.
The report entitled Phase-Out 2020: Monitoring Europe’s fossil fuel subsidies, aims to raise awareness among European, national decision-makers and the general audience about the huge amounts of subsidies still going to fossil fuel activities in Europe, despite the multiple pledges to comply with the Paris Agreement.
It found that every year between 2014-2016, the EU provided an annual average of €4bn in fossil fuel subsidies through its budget, development and investment banks and funds. The growing support for gas, and the continued provision of support for coal-fired power, are particularly concerning.
The findings come despite European governments and the EU pledging to phase out fossil fuel subsidies by 2020 and committing to phase out emissions from fossil fuels by the second half of this century as part of the Paris Agreement.

Other findings include:

  • After transport, industry and business received the most government support, benefitting from just less than €15bn per year
  • Subsidies continue to be provided for fossil fuel exploration, with the UK and France providing €253 million per year in public finance between 2014-16 on finding new resources

The report makes a series of recommendations urging European governments and EU institutions to:

  • Lead the G7 and G20 by meeting their commitment to phase-out fossil fuel subsidies by 2020
  • Increase transparency through a publicly-disclosed and consistent annual reporting scheme
  • Ensure mechanisms supporting energy transition do not support fossil fuel production and consumption;
  • Target any remaining subsidies to supporting workers and communities to move away from fossil fuels


CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE REPORT and all it's different related documents: Executive Summary, Main Report, EU Brief, Country studies and all the related infographics. You can also view the press release here.


The report was launched at a press conference in Brussels on Thursday 28th and was live streamed (you can view the video by clicking here. You can also view a short explanation of the report by one of the main authors from ODI in the followingvideo


MEDIA and CSO coverage here

Help us spread the word as much as possible on social media and elsewhere!



Phase out 2020 monitoring Europes fossil fuel subsidies






- Climate Home: EU bank to decide huge public loan to Europe’s biggest fossil fuel project

- Politico: Clean tax breaks “The market is skewed in favour of diesel with an average diesel car getting €2,600 in indirect fuel subsidies.”

- The Energy Collective: The European Union is Losing Its Way on Climate Change “Subsidies for coal continue to abound, as highlighted in a new study, which shows that in Europe, loans of €47.7b (AU$71.1b) have gone to fossil fuel projects since 2013, and many of these projects will continue.”

- Politico: Green groups press Commission to cut gas from priority projects list

- Euractiv: EU still divided over curbing power subsidies with CO2 cap

- Euractiv: Poland wins bigger coal transition funds in reformed ETS



- The Independent (UK): Government spends twice as much abroad on fossil fuels as renewable energy “As much as 99 per cent of UK Export Finance spending on energy goes on most polluting fuels, figures show”.

- Daily mail (UK): Poland - Factors to Watch Aug 23 “The energy ministry [of Poland] expects that state subsidies for the coal mining sector will amount to a combined 10.24 billion zlotys ($2.82 billion) from 2016 until 2020, Dziennik Gazeta Prawna daily reported.”

- (Norway): Bellona tries to pull the plug on vast Norwegian oil and gas exploration subsidies. “Bellona made a complaint about the Norwegian state to ESA (EFTA Surveillance Authority), in order to put an end to favorable sponsorship of oil and gas companies.”

- The Guardian: Norway's push for Arctic oil and gas threatens Paris climate goals – study

- Euractiv: Green groups say Greece granting illegal permits to polluting plants

- China Dialogue: China’s role in Turkey’s energy future: "Temptation to invest in Turkey’s coal sector will test President Xi's commitment to climate leadership"




- E&E: 2 global lenders say trillions needed for adaptation: "The heads of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund issued clarion calls Friday to address climate change and help countries rebuild from natural disasters. (...) Also on Friday, IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde pressed world leaders to stop subsidizing fossil fuels. (...) IMF researchers estimated fossil fuel subsidies in 2015 reached $5.3 trillion, roughly 7 percent of the world economy at the time. Lagarde said governments in power are in good position to cut fossil fuel subsidies, since commodity prices are so low. "We have the opportunity to reduce and eliminate these subsidies at a more reasonable cost," she told a full auditorium. "Some of you have done it, it can be done, it must be done." "

- Development and Cooperation: No time to rest on laurels “If policy is set to continue in the direction towards decarbonisation, renewable energy and reduced subsidies for fossil fuels, we will achieve an important sub-goal.”

- Reuters: Shunning fossil fuels, 40 Catholic groups seek climate action

Canada and the United Kingdom announce a global alliance on coal phase-out






- CAN Europe: 


- CEE Bankwatch: Major European loan to controversial Azerbaijani gas pipeline risks fuelling corruption, human rights abuse and climate change

- Friends of the Earth Europe and Food & Water Europe on behalf of more than a hundred organisations: Letter to Mr. Dominique Ristori regarding the preparation of the 3rd Union list of energy projects of common interest

- Sandbag:

- Birdlife: For an EU budget serving nature and people

- E3G:

- Counter Balance:

- Transport & Environment: Transport & Environment EU budget briefing: How the EU can better align spending with its climate and energy targets

- Bankwatch (briefing): Why the EIB should not finance TANAP?

- Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change: Ending tax breaks after the diesel scandal




- Climate marchs in Germany against coal:


- The end of coal is near! Thousands just took bold action to #endcoal in the Rhineland, Germany

- Réseau Action Climat France: Stop aux subventions aux énergies fossiles




- The Big Shift Campaign: "The World Bank manages and invests huge amounts of public money in development projects. We need them to get all their money out of dirty fossil fuels and into affordable renewable energy to reach and benefit even the most vulnerable and remote communities. This would have a huge financial impact and set a gold standard that other public and private banks would then aspire to."

- E3G: Sustainable infrastructure in development banks

- Oil Change International:

- Carbon Market Watch: Pricing carbon to achieve the Paris goals






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

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For an overview of the main national fossil fuel subsidies in Europe, click on the following map below (which you can also find on our website):

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The website's table of contents with direct links to the different sections:


  euro-white-icon-in-form-of-F.png   Fossil fuel subsidies
  ic_shuffle_white_48dp_2x.png   Avenues for change
  ic_description_white_48dp_2x.png   Publications



NGO publications



  ic_event_white_48dp_2x.png   Events






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: Nicolas Derobert

Have any news you want to share or comments on the content ? Contact: Martin O'Brien

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

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