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.12 - November 2017


Fossil fuel subsidies at COP23

Maeve McLynn

We remind governments of how the Paris Agreement requires an end to fossil fuels subsidies

Last year, ahead of COP22 CAN Europe and Overseas Development Institute published a briefing entitled ‘Pathways in the Paris Agreement for ending fossil fuel subsidies’. Alongside opportunities through the G20, Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), and SDGs, the Paris Agreement provides a number of pathways to support countries to phase out public finance and subsidies to fossil fuels. However, almost two years on from the landmark agreement, our recommendations and suggestions still need to be taken on board by governments and financial institutions that still continue to fund fossil fuels. 

In an effort to remind governments and Parties discussing international climate action at COP23 in Bonn, we share our briefing once again to remind and emphasise the opportunities in the Paris Agreement to facilitate a fair, managed and ambitious phase out of fossil fuel subsidies. 

The briefing and recommendations can be found here


Events that seek to address and discuss fossil fuels subsidies

Despite the sluggish progress of some of the world’s biggest economies - namely the G20 - in tackling their fossil fuel subsidies, other countries are demonstrating their support for more action. 
At a COP23 side event organised by the International Institute for Sustainable Development - Global Subsidies Initiative, Hon Aupito William Sio, Minister for Pacific Peoples made a speech that highlighted the importance of fossil fuel subsidy reform towards meeting the objectives of the Paris Agreement. The Minister echoed sentiments made by many groups and activists involved in the movement against fossil fuel subsidies; notably that fossil fuel subsidies must be eliminated and that:
The significant domestic resources saved from Fossil Fuel Subsidy Reform can be effectively redirected to other objectives including supporting contributions under the Paris Agreement.


STOP FFS digitial campaign during COP23

During Week 2 of the COP, Legambiente, Oil Change International and CAN Europe are publishing a number of infographics on fossil fuel subsidies, together with social media posts. 

The aim of this campaign is two-fold:

  1. Draw the attention of governments and citizens to all the crazy figures that we have found in researching subsidies.
  2. Push decision-makers to urgently implement their commitment to phase out all forms of fossil fuel subsidies by 2020, and shift financial flows towards a just, clean and renewable energy transition.



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

Click on share on the twitter and facebook images above to share the main post of the digital campaign.

You can also share the following other infographics on Europe, on Multilateral Development Banks here and here, and one on Italy.



Future EU budget: countdown is on, will the next generation of EU funds become entirely climate proof?

Markus Trilling

With the European Commission having published its ‘Reflection paper on the future of EU finances post-2020’ and the European Parliament coming to terms with its own position on the next EU budget finally the European Council as the last of the three institutions kicked off the game by publishing its debates’ agenda.
Here’s the entire playbook:

Until the end of  2017 the European Commission continues elaborating its post-2020 EU budget proposal, including the related set of legislation. There are some encouraging signs coming from Berlaymont: ‘future Cohesion Policy needs to take COP 21 into account’ we hear, does that imply no more support for gas infrastructure under the EU‘s regional development funding?

EU Commissioner for Climate Action & Energy, Miguel Arias Cañete indeed sings from the same sheet. During a get-together of the who-is-who on clean energy financing in Brussels at the beginning of this week (read our joint appeal towards Cañete and EP president Tajani, the organisers of the event, here) he was confident in proclaiming: “Making our budget an integral part of the energy transition means aligning it to the maximum possible extent with our policy objectives. Climate mainstreaming is a powerful vehicle for ensuring financial support for our 2030 energy and climate policy target and longer-term decarbonisation goals. This has worked well. Setting a 20% target for climate-related spending has put consideration of climate and clean energy at the centre of design and implementation of all EU programmes. This also means ensuring that the EU budget does not finance actions that are incompatible with our ambitions in terms of climate policy and clean energy transition.”

Further on, by the end of 2017 the  European Parliament will adopt its position on post-2020 EU budget, see the latest developments here, bold climate action and Fossil Fuel Subsdies phase out  in the next MFF not a done deal yet in the Parliament. 

And at the European Council on 23 February 2018 the Heads of Governments will debate the political priorities on the next EU budget for the first time. 
While the V4 countries’ saber-rattling swelling (the ‘Visegrad core group’ includes Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia), their  ‘no-strings-attached’ stand  might encounter resistance  by those (net-payer) countries which want to see more ‘EU added-value’ coming from the EU budget, e.g. in the form of climate action commitments from those countries and regions which receive most. Here is what Finance Ministers should read on the train to Brussels that day.

The moments of truth then in May 2018 with Commission publishing its Communication the EU budget post-2020  - followed by all legislative proposals for all budget lines and investment programmes (around 70 pieces of regulations) until July 2018.


OECD updates its fossil fuel subsidies database up to 2016 for most countries



Click here to view the database





- EU Observer (Belgium): Germany and France defend emissions trading deal. “Most significantly, Makaroff criticised that the reformed ETS would allow "some" funding of projects related to coal power.”

- EU Observer (Belgium): Emissions trading deal reached after 'isolating' Poland. "The backdoor for funding coal through the ETS in countries in a dire need of transition remains open."

- The Irish Times (Ireland): “Europe has less than 10 years left to burn gas, study says”. “This warning comes as the EU is poised to publish a list of 55 new major gas projects it is considering for public funding. In the past three years, the EU has granted more than €1 billion in public finance to gas projects.”

- Euractiv (Belgium): Carbon market reform: Much ado about nothing? “Environmentalists are alarmed by a decision that risks funding coal-powered plants for several more years.”

- World Pipelines (GB): EBRD approves TANAP gas pipeline funding. “The bank’s board approved the loan to a mostly Azeri-owned consortium building the Trans-Anatolian Pipeline, or TANAP.”

- Euractiv: Oettinger wants ‘pact’ between net payers and net recipients

- Euractiv: Sustainable finance requires a change in incentives

- The Guardian: Natural gas emissions will blow Europe's carbon budget at current levels

- Huffington Post: European banks are financing monuments to a bygone fossil fuel era



- The Guardian (GB): Norway sued over Arctic oil exploration plans. “The case, led by Greenpeace, claims Norwegian government has violated constitutional right to a healthy environment and contravenes Paris agreement”.

- The Budapest Business Journal (Hungary): Brussels clears state aid for MOL investment. “The European Commission (...) cleared the provision of EUR 131 million in state aid for an expansion of oil and gas company MOLʼs petrochemicals plant”.

- Euractiv (Belgium): Estonian minister: ‘Nobody is objecting’ to CO2 limit on power plant subsidies. “The European Commission’s proposal for a CO2 limit on power plant subsidies is supported by the Council of Ministers, insists Ando Leppiman.”

- The Guardian: Paradise Papers: Oxford and Cambridge invested tens of millions offshore



- AFP (France): Global 2% rise in CO2 'giant leap backwards for humankind. “The transition from dirty to clean energy has been slowed by oil, gas and coal subsidies that topped $320 million dollars (270 million euros) in 2015, according to the International Energy Agency.”

- Environmental Finance (GB): COP blog: Transparency high on the agenda for investors. “Many investors are turning out at COP23 in Bonn to explain to ministers and delegates the importance of financial disclosures in line with the TCFD recommendations, says Peter Damgaard Jensen.”

- Clean Energy Wire (Germany): COP23 - Day 3: US should be kept on board / "Time to stop digging". “Germany should (...) end public finance for fossil fuels by no later than 2020 and scale up international climate finance.”

- Climate & Development Knowledge Network (GB): OPINION: Where next for the global climate negotiations? “It will be especially important to phase out coal, and deal with fossil fuel subsidies.”

- Devex: World Bank to report aggregate greenhouse gas emissions for first time




CAN Europe:

Green Budget Europe: Environmental tax reform (ETR): some proposals and intentions in the Netherlands for 2018 and beyond

CEE Bankwatch:

Friends of the Earth Europe:

Transport & Environment: Europe refuses to give ICAO a blank cheque with aviation carbon scheme


Oil Change International:








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

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Screenshot from 2017-01-05 14:55:35.png

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):

Screenshot from 2017-01-05 14:47:28.png 

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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