A monthly update on policy development, campaigning and communications
CAN Europe launches 2018 European Fossil Fuel Subsidies Awards
This week CAN Europe launched the public vote for the 2018 European Fossil Fuel Subsidies Awards.
Driving up public awareness about fossil fuel subsidies is crucial to keeping up the pressure on politicians to phase them out. We’ve shortlisted eight nominations put forward by NGOs campaigning on subsidies. These nominations show the broad diversity of subsidies governments and public institutions are still dolling out in countries across Europe.
Find out more about each of the nominees by following the links below. You can vote now to help to expose the worst, promote the public vote via your channels between now and 30 March, and watch out for the announcement of the winners mid-April.....
Green Growth Group Ministers and Parliament call for more climate action in next EU budget
The European Commission (EC) will publish its proposal for the next EU budget, the so called Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) 2021-2027 on 2 May. Ahead of the EC’s paper, the EU budget has been in the focus for Member States and the European Parliament. The Green Growth Group (GGG), made up of Environment Ministers from Germany, the UK, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Luxembourg, Portugal, Slovenia, Italy, Spain and Austria, have signed a statement calling for more and better climate action in the next EU budget. “Subsidies that are not in line with the Paris Agreement should be discontinued as quickly as possible," according to Germany’s Minister.
This was echoed by the European Parliament, adopting its position on the EU budget in last week’s plenary. MEPs are calling for significantly more financial support to tackle climate change than the current level of 20%, with a 30% climate action spending target, and for the phase out of fossil fuel subsidies in future EU spending. Further on, they emphasise the need for CO2 reduction when investing EU funds in the transport sector, and for support for carbon-intensive regions as they transition to the zero-carbon economy.
G20 and G7 agendas take shape, with fossil fuel subsidies featuring as key item for discussion
2018 is setting out to be a busy year of international meetings and summits that bring together the world’s largest economies - the G7 and G20. Climate and clean energy strongly feature on the agendas of the discussions and both processes have addressed action on fossil fuel subsidies.
The G20 Presidency this year is held by Argentina, which has the stated aim to bring all countries together on each issue that will be discussed - this is no easy feat, as learned by the German G20 Presidency in 2017. Importantly, the G20 summit will take place just before COP24, setting an important scene for international cooperation on climate action. Key priority issues set out by the Argentinian Presidency are the future of work; infrastructure for development; and a sustainable food future. Diverging from the German approach that brought together the climate and energy working groups, the Argentinians have decided to split those issues into two separate working groups;
In addition, there will be the Finance Track which will tackle sustainable finance and infrastructure development. Civil society groups - through the C20 and Climate Action Network will be engaging in the G20 to make progress on some of the key issues identified in the plan. For a full overview of the G20 calendar of meetings, please see the website here.
The G7 Presidency is held by Canada. Similar to Argentina’s challenge in the G20, Canada will have to work hard to build consensus among G7 Party members on matters related to climate change international policy and the implementation of the Paris Agreement. However, despite the notable setbacks presented by the US Administration in 2017, G7 Energy and Environment Ministers managed to maintain support for climate action and the entry into force of the Paris Agreement.
There is ample opportunity for the G7 Presidency to lead the way, and work with European countries to enact the commitments laid out in past G7 Communiques - for example, fossil fuel subsidy phase-out, developing long-term decarbonisation plans, enhancing National Determined Contributions, and scaling up international climate finance.
An important step forward for the G7 will be to demonstrate how these large economies will increase climate ambition well before 2020, and how they will kick into action their commitment to eliminate fossil fuel subsidies by 2025. The G7 Summit will take place on June 8-9. For a full overview of G7 meetings, please see the calendar here.
New Europe (EU): BEU budget addresses climate change challenges. “MEPs recognise the importance of the EU budget in the fight against climate change, and in the transition towards zero-carbon and climate-resilient economies.”
Ends Europe (UK):MFF must support climate goals, say energy groups. “Europe Markus Trilling told ENDS that industry’s message to the EC was “unmistakable” that the next EU budget has to be “more ambitious when it comes to climate action.”
Ends Europe (UK): Greens hail MEPs' stance on future EU budget. "“Now the European Commission must be all ears and bring the future EU budget in line with the Paris Agreement in its proposal to be published the beginning of May, and allocate 40% towards climate action.”
Ends Europe (UK): Environment ministers call for reinforced climate budget “Increased spending target and ruling out funding for fossil fuel activities would “serve higher climate ambition”, said finance and subsidies policy coordinator at Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe, Markus Trilling.”
Ends Europe (UK): Ministers group may call for reinforced climate funds. “Climate mainstreaming is an important part of the MFF that needs to continue and can be improved. The MFF in its entirety needs to be Paris compliant and work towards our long-term goals in the Paris Agreement.”
Interfax Global Energy (UK): EU vote marks new dawn for power markets. "One of the most eye-catching reforms is the phasing out of national subsidies for coal-fired power plants, a provision that has strong backing from gas companies eager to gain further market share in European power markets.”
Euractiv (EU): The Brief: Energy Disunion. “One quarter of MEPs surprisingly voted against the European Commission’s list of gas and electricity projects on Wednesday. The latest show of disunity once again suggests that the dream of a carbon-free Europe might remain just that: a flight of fantasy.”
Green News Ireland: MEPs vote down motion to exclude new fossil fuel support. "MEPs today voted against a motion to block the inclusion of major gas infrastructure projects in a list of projects which could qualify for streamlined planning and financial support from the EU.”
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