Media coverage on shifting financial flows and fossil fuel subsidies
Here we collect a sample of the media coverage of the topics shifting financial flows and fossil fuel subsidies.
- December 2017 - January 2018
- November 2017
- September-October 2017
- July-August 2017
- June 2017
- May 2017
- April 2017
- March 2017
- February 2017
- December 2016 - January 2017
- November 2016
- October 2016
- September 2016
- The Parliament Magazine (EU): EU must stop subsidising fossil-fuels infrastructure. “The European Fund for Strategic Investments is funding dozens of carbon-intensive projects, at the expense of genuinely sustainable infrastructure, argues Anna Roggenbuck.”
- The Guardian (United Kingdom): EU announces €9bn in funding for climate action. “EU funds will be focused on clean energy, and sustainable cities and agriculture, with Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation also pledging $300m towards climate adaptation.”
- Sun and Wind Energy (Germany): EU fails to eliminate fossil fuels from the Juncker Investment Plan. “Markus Trilling at Climate Action Network Europe, said: “We welcome the climate target for EFSI 2.0. But to be in compliance with the Paris Agreement, all EFSI projects have to be assessed against their long-term climate impacts.”
- Euractiv (EU): Room for hope at Macron’s One Planet Summit. “A number of initiatives targeting the global transition away from fossil fuels have been established over the last two years, and most recently at the international climate summit in Bonn.”
- ExecReview (United Kingdom): ‘Death spiral’: half of Europe’s coal plants are losing money. “Air pollution and climate change policies are pushing coal-fired electricity stations to the brink, says a new report. Closing them would avoid €22bn in losses by 2030.”
- Euractiv (EU): Europe is not fighting hard enough to keep out coal subsidies. “To prevent coal subsidies, the European Commission proposed a CO2 threshold for power plants to receive public subsidies. However, due to last minute edits from current EU President, Estonia, the door will be open for existing high-carbon power plants to receive public money to stay online, writes Kathrin Gutmann.”
- Windkraft (Germany): Estonia makes surprise push for coal subsidies. “The coal industry and those governments dragging their feet on climate actions love nothing more than the idea to use public money to keep dirty plants open for another few decades. This last minute change of heart from Estonia is indefensible and biased towards coal lobby interests,” said Joanna Flisowska, Coal Policy Coordinator with Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe.”
- Euractiv (EU): The Brief: EU goes Jekyll and Hyde on climate and energy. “How can the Commission call on the EIB to grant €2bn to a mega gas pipeline and then release a report urging the member states and the same bank to do more to reduce subsidies for fossil fuels?”
- Climate Home News (United Kingdom): EU commission urged bank to support Azerbaijan gas pipeline. “Loans to the pipeline from the EIB and EBRD would qualify as fossil fuel subsidies, said Shelagh Whitley, a leading researcher on the issue at the Overseas Development Institute.”
- 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.”
- Huffington Post: European banks are financing monuments to a bygone fossil fuel era
- 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.”
- Euractiv: Green finance group calls on EU to stop funding fossil fuels. “A group of financial experts has set out its vision for hardwiring sustainability goals into the European Union’s financial system, calling on the 28-country bloc to stop pouring public money into polluting fossil fuels and focus spending on clean energies instead. The EU’s high-level group on sustainable finance issued its interim report on Thursday (13 July), urging the European Union to stop all public funding for fossil fuel industries such as coal, oil and gas. The upcoming revision of the EU’s multi-annual budget is “a significant opportunity” to increase investments in clean technologies and “explicitly exclude fossil fuels and other unsustainable projects” from public funding, the group wrote in its report. Instead, public money should be geared towards “only supporting renewable energy and energy and resource efficiency”, the report added. The EU high-level group on sustainable finance was set up by the European Commission last December to look into ways of nudging the financial system towards long-term environmental and social objectives."
- Euractiv: EU budget for climate action: Time to wake the sleeping beauty. “The EU budget must be reformed to comply with the requirements of the Paris Agreement.”
- Bioenergy International: Biggest EU investors partially aligned with Paris Agreement but more efforts needed. “Lack of disclosure on climate risk remains an element of concern that will have to be addressed by the upcoming G-20 Summit.”
- Ends Europe: MEP would end priority dispatch for green power. “The Latvian lawmaker agrees with the EU executive's view that 'capacity mechanisms' — which critics view as state subsidies to coal, the dirtiest fuel for power generation in terms of CO2 emissions — should be permitted "only as a last resort".”
- Energy Business Review: EIB offer EUR29m loan for expansion of gas distribution in Portugal. "The European Investment Bank (EIB) is granting EUR 29 million loan to support the investment programme of Sonorgas aimed at expanding its natural gas distribution networks to new areas in northern Portugal. (...) The agreement was made possible by support from the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), the central pillar of the European Commission's Investment Plan for Europe, the so-called "Juncker Plan"(...)"
- Politico: 'ECB lends to a who's who of corporate Europe'. "The European Central Bank, under pressure from MEPs, has published a list of its holdings as part of its “corporate sector purchase program.” The program, started in 2016, involves the ECB lending to non-bank companies by buying corporate bonds from them. (...) beneficiaries of the ECB policy include German chemical giant BASF; electricity firms EDF, Engie, Enel, E.ON and Iberdrola; Airbus Group and Ryanair; telecoms companies Orange, Deutsche Telekom, Telefonica, Telecom Italia and KPN; oil and gas companies Shell, ENI, Total and Repsol; car companies Volkswagen and Renault; French pharmaceutical firm Sanofi; giant brewers Anheuser-Busch InBev and Heineken; conglomerates Unilever, Siemens and LVMH (Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton); software and service provider SAP."
- Euractiv: EU initiative to help coal mining regions will start in autumn. "The Commission is working on an initiative to support coal mining regions during the transition towards a low-emission economy."
- Ends Europe: NGOs name and shame countries for fossil fuel subsidies. “These awards reveal that financial commitments are not consistent with Government promises to tackle climate change in line with the Paris Agreement. With the awards we expose a large amount of largely hidden subsidies for fossil fuels and call on all European Governments to phase them out urgently and no later than 2020. We also ask them to make their budgets 100% climate-friendly and implement the clean energy transition as soon as possible. They must put their people and environment ahead of polluting fossil fuels.”
- Politico: For peat’s sake. “Ireland has been awarded the gold medal at the European Fossil Fuel Subsidy Awards, a mock awards ceremony staged by Climate Action Network Europe and a coalition of NGOs.”
- Flux energie: Fossil Fuel Subsidies Awards’ winners revealed. “Nine European countries have been named and shamed today in a public fossil fuel subsidies awards ceremony in Brussels.”
- POLITICO: "EU BUDGET — GET READY FOR A FIGHT: Playbook’s source is preparing for a political cyclone, with EU national diplomats sure the debate over the EU budget will be a bumpy ride. “It’s going to be a real mess,” Playbook’s source said. “The Commission is trying very hard to keep the Future of Europe and Brexit discussions on different tracks. The EU budget is where those discussions merge.”
- POLITICO: Tajani proposes ‘Copernican revolution’ in EU budget. “European Parliament President Antonio Tajani is drawing up proposals for a radical overhaul of the EU budget, which would slash sums devoted to its prime beneficiaries: farmers. Tajani’s plan, which also involves switching the budget cycle from seven years to five, would divert money towards security, immigration, youth unemployment and climate change,” report Giulia Paravicini and Simon Marks."
- POLITICO: "COUNCIL — SWEDEN SAYS NO EU FUNDS TO COUNTRIES THAT DON’T FOLLOW MIGRATION RULES: The Swedes want the EU budget to shrink post-Brexit, and they think there should be “consequences” for countries “not taking responsibility and following EU decisions, according to Prime Minister Stefan Löfven. Unfortunately for Sweden, according to a recent Jacques Delors Institute paper, the country is set to face the second-biggest hike in EU budget contributions thanks to Brexit.". Swedish government's press release: Smaller EU budget and Sweden’s contribution must be kept down – the Government’s general priorities ahead of the upcoming EU budget negotiations
- POLITICO: "Delay to post-2020 budget proposal: Oettinger called for post-2020 proposals to be tabled in 2018 rather than at the end of this year, to ensure greater clarity on Brexit negotiations and what the EU plans to do about the Future of Europe white paper. Meanwhile, POLITICO’s own Florian Eder reports the German government is pushing for those new rules to link EU cohesion funds to respect for democratic principles."
- POLITICO: Berlin looks into freezing funds for EU rule-breakers : Germany considers trying to link receipt of EU cohesion funds to respect for democratic principles
- EU Observer: Commission hints at political conditions for EU funds
The European Commission is preparing the ground for 'more conditionalities', at this moment linked to economic reforms and rule of law and closely linked to the European Semester and Country Specific Recommendations. This is not yet totally the set of climate action conditionalities, but both Oettinger's and the Germans proposals leave space for it.
- POLITICO: Oettinger wants to scrap all rebates in post-Brexit EU budget
- Euractiv: Scared of scarcity: Electricity utilities question EU free market plans: “Most of the experts agree today that the more distortions you introduce into the market at first – through coal subsidies and even renewables subsidies and other interference with the markets – the more difficult it will be for the market price to give a signal that stimulates investment.”
- New Europe: EP Committees endorse 40% target on climate action, but MEPs fall short of banning fossil fuel subsidies. “Markus Trilling said, “By introducing a climate proofing tool for the entire EFSI the European Parliament finally acknowledges the obligations stemming from the Paris Climate Agreement, namely to shift financial flows and investments in order limit climate change to 1.5C. However, the European Parliament missed out on the most straightforward way to achieve compliance with the climate protection requirements, namely to ban fossil fuel subsidies.”
- Public Finance International: Europe continues to subsidise coal industry, says ODI. “Ten of Europe’s major economies hand out €6.3bn ($6.9bn) in coal subsidies every year, including €1bn ($1.1bn) in funds intended for low-carbon sources, according to a UK think-tank.”
- SeeNews: EIB to provide up to 30 mln euro funding for Bulgaria-Serbia gas link. “The European Investment Bank (EIB) intends to provide financing of up to 30 million euro ($33.8 million) for the construction of a gas interconnection between Serbia and Bulgaria in 2018, a senior EIB official has said.”
New Publication for the ENVI Committee in the European Parliament on Fossil Fuel Subsidies
"This paper provides an overview of fossil fuel subsidies globally and in the EU, as well as a summary of key components of successful reform efforts and why reform can be difficult to achieve for governments.
This analysis was provided by Policy Department A for the Committee on Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI)."
Click here to access the paper.
EndsEurope coverage: Redirecting funds key to removing fossil fuel aid – study
Other EU news
Climate Action Programme: EU on track to meet 2020 renewable energy targets : “Markus Trilling, policy coordinator at the CAN Europe coalition of green NGOs, urged MEPs to ensure the budget is aligned with achieving the goals of the Paris climate Agreement in addition to establishing a framework for climate proofing and for the phase out of any support to fossil fuels.”
Ends Europe: Greens rue lack of climate funding in EU budget revision : “The Greens have criticised the European Parliament for failing to allocate resources to meet commitments in the Paris Agreement in a mid-term review of the 2014-2020 budget.”
Ends Europe: MEPs back dedicating 40% of EFSI to green projects: “MEPs have supported proposals to guarantee that a minimum share of the money in the EU’s investment fund is used to finance climate and energy efficiency projects.”
- Handelsblatt: Oettinger: Germany May Have To Pay More To E.U. “If Great Britain exits in the spring of 2019, the start of the new financial framework could be pushed up by a year to 2020. Moreover, there is something to be said for shortening the financial period from seven to five years.”
- Delano: Modest EU budget reform proposal: Monti. “There are many opportunities to do things that would be consistent with reinforcing the single market, that would be conducive to more effective EU policies against climate change, etc.”
- The High Level Group on Own Resources for the EU budget came up with its proposals in December 2016. CAN Europe beleives that the EU budget's ‘Own Resources’ should deliver on EU climate policies and address fiscal distortions that favor fossil fuel-powered economies on national level e.g. with a carbon tax alongside the EU Emission Trading System (ETS).
Other EU news
- Guardian: ECB's quantitative easing programme investing billions in fossil fuels. "The European Central Bank’s (ECB) quantitative easing programme is systematically investing billions of euros in the oil, gas and auto industries, according to a new analysis. The ECB has already purchased €46bn (£39bn) of corporate bonds since last June in a bid to boost flagging eurozone growth rates, a figure that some analysts expect to rise to €125bn by next September. On Thursday the bank said it would extend the scheme until 2018. (...) Unlike the European Investment Bank (EIB) or European Bank of Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), the ECB is not obliged to consider the effect that its investments may have on climate change."
- Europa Nu: Speech Commissioner Canete: Completing a competitive, reliable and innovative Energy Union. “Europe is forging ahead with the clean energy transition. There is no alternative. Let me be absolutely clear on this.”
- Euractiv: The keys to decarbonising Europe’s heating and cooling. “Policymakers must give a strong signal to end-users and industries on the need for change and the incompatibility of fossil-based solutions with the 2050 goals to reach a zero emissions economy for Europe.”
- Vastuullisuusuutiset: Most wood energy schemes are a 'disaster' for climate change. “EU Governments, under pressure to meet tough carbon cutting targets, have been encouraging electricity producers to use more of this form of energy by providing substantial subsidies for biomass burning. However this new assessment from Chatham House suggests that this policy is deeply flawed when it comes to cutting CO2.”EP resolution on the Arctic - paragraphs on banning Arctic oil drilling and fossil fuel subsidies
State of the Energy Union
- Climate Home: 6 takeaways from the 2017 EU state of the energy union
- FluxEnergie: ‘Financiering Europese energietransitie moet anders’
- Público: Quercus calls for end to EU subsidies on fossil fuels
- BusinessGreen: EU hails clean energy 'year of delivery'
Other EU news
- EU Observer: ‘End company-car perks, says EU commission’
Fossil fuel subsidies and the 'Clean Energy for All Europeans' package
The European Commission’s own press release about the publication of the ‘Clean Energy for All Europeans’ package, and its the press release about guidance on capacity mechanisms.
- SAT Press News: Polish power rep: Commission’s vision of the electricity market is ‘slightly utopian’
- Financial Times (letter by Tara Connolly, Greenpeace European Unit): Coal plants could be subsidised for next decade
- ACTMedia Romanian News Agency: EU unveils Winter Package of power market reforms
- EuroNews: Europe's power market reform a boon for struggling utilities
- Politico: Power to the People (and to Brussels)
- New Europe: EU Commission package targets clean energy transition
- EurActiv: Commission defends new energy rules and climate ambition
- EurActiv: EU unveils Winter Package of power market reforms
- Climate Home: EU warns Poland against ‘backdoor subsidies’ for coal
Ahead of the publication:
- The Parliament Magazine: Campaigners unimpressed with Commission's winter energy package
"Campaigners have said that the winter energy package the Commission will unveil this week "falls well short" of what is needed to fight climate change."
- EurActiv: EU throws in the towel over national energy support schemes
"EU member states have pressed ahead with a variety of schemes to remunerate energy generators for keeping power plants on stand-by, despite warnings from Brussels. It now seems certain that such “capacity mechanisms” will remain a fact of life, at least for the foreseeable future."
- CAN Europe: Lacklustre Commission energy package inconsistent with Paris Agreement
- Transport & Environment: Commission favours unproven biofuels over clean electricity for transport
- WWF European Policy Office: Commission’s clean energy package still too dirty
- Friends of the Earth Europe: Beacons of hope in gloomy winter package
- Greenpeace EU Unit: EU lifeline to coal could derail renewable energy transition
- European Environmental Bureau: EU on thin ice with Winter Package
- E3G: EU Clean Energy Package “Politically Cautious”
According to the European Court of Auditors talking about climate mainstreaming in their article 'EU climate action: serious risk that 20 % spending target will not be met' : "...there is a serious risk that the EU’s target of spending at least one euro in every five of the EU budget on climate action between 2014 and 2020 will not be met. While progress has been made, the auditors warn that more effort is needed to ensure a “real shift” towards climate action."
- PublicFinance International: Auditors warn EU spending on climate change could undershoot target
- EU requires pension funds to assess climate change risks
- Politico: 'EFSI — COURT OF AUDITORS CRITICAL OF INVESTMENT EXPANSION: The EU’s auditors say the Commission moved too soon to expand its EIB-backed investment plan because they have not collected enough evidence on whether it is working. Read the report here. The Commission told Playbook it has incorporated criticisms, revamping plans expected on November 30. It wants the EIB to be more transparent about how it chooses projects to increase the geographic spread of funded projects and has won broad backing from the French national assembly, Unicredit and its own independent auditors E&Y. Commission Vice President Jyrki Katainen said “It is satisfying that independent evaluators agree with our approach." ' Here is the new EC communication on EFSI evaluation, published 29 November 2016.
EU budget reform discussions gain tention
- 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
- Europa.eu: State aid: Commission opens in-depth investigation into Luxembourg's tax treatment of GDF Suez (now Engie
- Boursorama (France): Des ONG pointent l'effort insuffisant du G20
- Foreign Affairs (New Zealand): G20 states must take harder line on carbon emissions: NGOs
- Arab News (Saudi Arabia): Group of 20 states ‘must take harder carbon line’
- The Guardian: Leading insurers tell G20 to stop funding fossil fuels by 2020
- Sky News Australia: Insurers push G20 on climate commitments
- Reuters: Insurers call on G20 to phase out fossil fuel subsidies by 2020
- The Guardian: G20 reaffirms climate commitments – but dodges deadlines
- Reuters: Pressure for G20 deadline on fossil fuel subsidies shifts to Germany
- December 2017 - January 2018
- November 2017
- September-October 2017
- July-August 2017
- June 2017
- May 2017
- April 2017
- March 2017
- February 2017
- December 2016 - January 2017
- November 2016
- Clean Energy Wire (Germany): Private climate finance under scrutiny on eve of Paris summit. “Christiane Averbeck, executive director of Climate Alliance Germany, said at an NGO press briefing: “It’s not about single little ’greening projects‘ in the finance sector, it’s about the redirection of large financial flows”.”
- The Irish Times (Ireland): Nordic countries offer to help Ireland reduce emissions. “If the world adopted the Nordic approach, by 2030 it would see a reduction in emissions equivalent to that which the EU is producing at the moment. In cost terms that would be equivalent to “nine days of current fossil fuel subsidies” amounting to over $490 billion a year.”
- Euractiv (EU): Commission launches probe into Spanish aid to coal-powered plants. “The European Commission has opened an in-depth investigation into Spain’s state aid for coal power plants to establish whether it is in line with EU rules.”
- Financial Director (EU): Autumn budget 2017 business round-up. “Hammond has announced a tax break for transfers of North Sea oil and gas fields, from next year, offering transferrable tax histories for oil and gas fields in the North Sea.”
- Clean Energy Wire (Germany): Poland's Katowice COP: Next coal country hosting UN climate talks. “The Polish Climate Coalition, a network of environmental NGOs, pointed out that while Polish ministry representatives are giving their support to the implementation of the Paris Agreement in Bonn, other members of the government were working on a new set of coal subsidies that could be adopted next week.”
- Clean Energy Wire: Govt energy transition commission calls for CO2 price, mobility action
- 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 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.”
- Bellona.org (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.”
- 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"
- Euractiv: Estonia ties electricity talks with digital policy at EU helm. “The European Commission fears that capacity mechanisms would just translate into subsidies for coal power plants.”
- Energy Live News: EU approves Danish state aid for coal to biomass plant. “The Commission found that the project concerns the replacement of an existing unit and that it will not lead to undue distortions of competition in the electricity market.”
CAN Europe is very happy to announce that the European Fossil Fuel Subsidy Awards' Ceremony on the 22nd of May announcing the results of the awards were very widely covered, with more than 60 different national media outlets from 11 european countries covering the awards!
All the national media coverage is accessible here.
- The Argus (UK): Greens: A message of hope in uncertain times. “The ten-point Green Guarantee published online Mon Monday 22 promises (...) to replace fracking, coal power stations, and subsidies to fossil fuels and nuclear energy with “the clean green renewable energy of the future”
Foreign Affairs: OPINION: Reformed carbon market must no longer fund coal: “Poland is the most striking case. It is the biggest beneficiary of Article 10c’s free allowances. Between 2013 and 2020 Polish energy companies receive estimated value of almost €7.5 billion. The vast majority of these funds is being spent on subsidising coal power.”
Euractiv: The true picture of the German Energiewende: “Despite broad public acceptance and the investment boom in the rest of the world, the annual investments in renewables in the EU and Germany have halved since 2012.”
Euractiv: Paris Agreement architect: Spain needs to contribute to decarbonisation strategies: “During an interview with EFE in Madrid ahead of a meeting with climate actors, Laurence Tubiana, the French diplomat that led the Paris Agreement talks, said that Spain “needs to go to the G20 meeting in July, with a plan in hand how to decarbonise the economy, like most other world powers have”.”
On the bright side
- Turkey (Climate Home): Court forces Turkish coal plant to suspend operations. “Three years after it came online, Izdemir power station has been stripped of its environmental licence, in a win for campaigners”
- UK (Carbon Pulse): UK pledges to target “total carbon price” for 2020s, with details due in autumn
- Luxembourg (Carbon Pulse): Luxembourg can reclaim ArcelorMittal’s unused carbon allowances, top EU court rules
On the downside
- Italy (LNG World News): Snam ups investment, eyes small-scale LNG development. “The Italian natural gas transmission system operator, Snam, intends to study the development of small-scale LNG business and to up its investment over the 2017-2021 period. The company expects an annual net income growth of 4 percent on average, with investment over the period to reach €5 billion (Approx: US$5.3 billion). Out of the €5 billion planned investment, €4.7 billion will be spent on further developing the Italian gas network and its interconnection with the European infrastructure system, while €270 million has been earmarked for the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) project.” (Snam is under public control)
- Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia (Euractiv): V4 energy security: The land of nuclear and coal
- Green groups: ‘Brexit is pivotal environmental moment’. “Greener UK says it is essential the UK continues to co-operate with the EU to maintain high standards and financial support for greenhouse gas reduction, energy efficiency and air quality”
- Imperial College says UK power sector CO2 emissions would be 20% higher w/o CO2 tax ‘Researchers at Imperial College London modelled the electricity sector in 2016 with no carbon tax – and double the current levy. Read how they used Electric Insights data to help explore post-Budget policy options.’
On the bright side...
- The Independent: Ireland votes in favour of law to become world's first country to fully divest from fossil fuels
... but on the downside ...
- Germany (Politico morning newsletter): "Subsidizing fossil fuels: Germany spent €57 billion on subsidies that were detrimental to the environment in 2012, of which more than 90 percent of that was bad for the climate, the Federal Environment Agency said last week (in German). “It’s paradoxical: Germany commits itself to more climate protection internationally. At the same time, we reward behavior that is harmful for the climate with tax money,” said Maria Krautzberger, the agency’s president, in a statement. Transport received the largest share of harmful subsidies, with €28.6 billion, followed by the energy sector with €20.3 billion, the agency found."
- Balkans (Reuters): Balkan push for new coal-fired plants raises environmental concerns
- Azerbaijan (SMI Online): WB, Azerbaijan Sign Tanap Loan
- UK (The Times): Old power plants in line for millions in subsidies
- UK (Financial Times): Gas and coal are big winners in electricity capacity auction
- Spain (El País): Brussels chides Spain over subsidies for harmful fossil fuels
- Moldova and Romania (SeeNews): EIB, EBRD, EU back construction of Moldova-Romania gas link
On the bright side...
- Clean Energy Wire : “No funding of fossil fuel projects” "The German government no longer supports the new construction or overhaul of already decommissioned coal plants via development finance instruments of the World Bank, it said in an answer to a parliamentary inquiry of the Left Party."
... but on the downside ...
- Climate Home: Spain’s hidden €1bn subsidy to coal, gas power plants
- Telegraph: Old coal beats new gas for subsidy cash to keep the lights on
- Independent.ie : Energy watchdog agrees €12.8m funding for gas filling stations. "The energy regulator has approved funding for Gas Networks Ireland (GNI) to roll out compressed natural gas (CNG) filling stations across the country."
Developments in European countries
On the bright side...
- France 24: UN chief calls for 'elimination' of fossil fuel subsidies
- bne IntelliNews: Czech Export Bank baulks at backing Skoda Praha's Montenegrin contract
- Irish Examiner: 'Climate advisors urge wind farm builds
- TornosNews: VAT hike comes into effect on Greek islands and mainland on Wednesday
... but on the down side
- Reuters: France to drop carbon tax plan: Les Echos
- Guardian: Greece set to win €1.75bn from EU climate scheme to build two coal plants
- Climate Home: Bosnia faces legal action over Chinese-backed coal dash
- Natural Gas World: EBRD Funds Polish Plant Conversion
- Carbon Capture Journal: Synthetic Fossil Fuels – backdoor subsidies, climate on the backburner
- Huffington Post (op-ed): Turkey: Notes from a state of (climatic) emergency
... and some additional developments
- Automotive News Europe: France will end diesel-gasoline tax gap for companies' car fleets
- Romania-Insider: Environment tax to be replaced with tax on fuel consumption in Romania
- Hortidaily: European Commission approves German support to cogenerated electricity
- December 2017 - January 2018
- November 2017
- September-October 2017
- July-August 2017
- June 2017
- May 2017
- April 2017
- March 2017
- February 2017
- The Guardian (United Kingdom): World Bank to end financial support for oil and gas exploration. “Bank announces in Paris it ‘will no longer finance upstream oil and gas’ after 2019 in response to threat posed by climate change.”
- The Guardian (United Kingdom): Calls for greater fossil fuel divestment at anniversary of Paris climate deal. “Campaigners call for an end to fossil fuel finance and subsidies to avoid dangerous global warming at a meeting to mark two years since the signing of the landmark agreement.”
- Climate Action Programme (Internationational): Leading economists and major corporations call for the end of fossil fuel investments. “More than 80 leading economists from 20 countries have signed a Declaration on Climate Finance urging for an immediate end to investment in new fossil fuel projects and a dramatic increase in renewable energy investment.”
- NRDC (United States): Power Shift: New Report on International Coal vs. RE Finance. “Our latest report, Power Shift, compares G20 governments’ financing for coal projects and renewable energy projects abroad. Our findings indicate that countries are still financing more coal than renewables projects abroad.”
- Huffington Post: Which development bank is leading the way on emissions reporting?
- 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.”
- 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: Of world's 20 leading economies, Italy, Brazil, France and Germany are closest to meeting international targets to keep global warming below 2C. "If other G20 governments are serious about standing up to Trump's climate denial and meeting their commitments under the Paris Agreement, they need to stop propping up the outdated fossil fuel industry with public money."
- The Guardian: G20 public finance for fossil fuels 'is four times more than renewables. “Soft loans, subsidies and World Bank funding mean nations are ‘talking out of both sides of their mouths’ on climate, says report.”
- Huffington post: New Report Finds G20 Nations Still Sending Billions In Public Finance To Fossil Fuels. “Countries need to transition their financing away from outdated fossil fuels toward the clean energy economy.”
- Common Dreams: Statement: G20 Leaders Shame Trump, but Fail to End Fossil Fuel Subsidies. “Unfortunately the G19 failed to take action to demonstrate that they’re serious about the Paris Agreement by actually ending handouts to the fossil fuel industry, instead of once again offering the same tired ‘commitment’ backed by little action.”
- Energy Collective: From C20 to the G20: What We Need on Carbon Pricing and Fossil Fuel Subsidy Reform. “The side event shed light on actions taken by different countries regarding carbon pricing and fossil fuel subsidy reform measures and tools, and how such efforts need to be further reinforced to address fossil fuel subsidies.”
- British utilities: Renewable Energy Soon To Be Cheapest Form Of Electricity In G20 Countries, Says Greenpeace – CleanTechnica. “This week’s report showed that G20 countries averaged $70 billion in public finance for fossil fuels.”
- Business Insider: Oil, gas, and coal industries get a shocking amount of funding from the US government, a new report shows. “The US government provided about $6 billion annually in financial support to the oil, gas, and coal industries between 2013 and 2015.”
- Clean Energy Wire: “G20 needs to show concrete steps to implement Paris climate accord”. “The topic of a price on CO₂ needs to be addressed. On the one hand that means ending fossil fuel subsidies. It’s also about further clarifying exactly which subsidies are meant.”.
- South East Green: U.S. Sending $6 Billion to Subsidize Fossil Fuel Projects Abroad. “The report by Oil Change International, Friends of the Earth U.S., the Sierra Club and WWF European Policy Office, for the first time ever, details public support for energy projects from G20 public finance institutions (such as overseas development aid agencies and export credit agencies) and multilateral development banks.”
- Euractiv: Business leaders back G20 task force recommendations on climate-risk disclosure. "Over 100 business leaders worldwide have backed the final recommendations of a global task force set up by the G20 to disclose how companies manage climate-related risk, in a move that could divert trillions of investments away from polluting fossil fuels."
- The Energy Mix: Slower Paris implementation would risk $20 trillion in stranded assets: IRENA. "Stranded asset risk around the world will double from US$10 to $20 trillion by mid-century if governments delay implementation of the Paris agreement, the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) warns in a working paper produced for the German government and released ahead of last week’s G20 leaders’ summit in Hamburg."
- Carbon Brief: Explainer: The challenge of defining fossil fuel subsidies. “Just over a year ago, the G7 group of nations pledged to end all “inefficient fossil fuel subsidies” by 2025. This language disappeared from the latest annual G7 communique, signed in Sicily last month, while a similar G20 promise to end subsidies has no deadline.”
- Independent: A dissatisfactory G7. “The six-page final communiqué indicated agreements on (...) increased energy security, but no mention of ending inefficient fossil fuel subsidies by 2025 as per last year's G7.”
- Vox: Energy subsidy reform: Difficult yet progressing. “Despite a growing consensus in favour of reform of costly and environmentally damaging energy price subsidies, many countries remain resistant.”
- Geographical: Future of the Paris Climate Agreement – the expert view. “Every year, G20 governments provide £450billion of subsidies to fossil fuels, almost four times the amount for renewables.”
- Hellenic Shipping News: China’s Clean Energy Ambition Floats on Abandoned Coal Mine. “While Trump has said repeatedly he wants to stimulate fossil fuels and especially coal, China is funding a series of ground-breaking projects that generate power without pollution.”
- Yahoo News: China backed Asian Infrastructure and Investment Bank (AIIB). “Won’t finance coal-fired power plants”
- Tidal Energy Today: REN21 finds 2016 as record-breaking year for renewables. “The report has also revealed that fossil fuel subsidies continue to impede the progress of renewable energy.”
- Windkraft-Journal on the UNECE Renewable Energy Status Report 2017: Investment in renewable energy still lacking in 17 countries in South and Eastern Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia. "Energy subsidies for fossil fuels persist in the region, presenting an additional obstacle for the deployment of both renewable energy sources and energy efficiency measures."
- Euractiv: EU should pave the way for G20 fossil fuel subsidy phase-out. “The EU must step up and lead the push for the world’s big economies to end fossil fuel subsidies, writes Maeve McLynn.”
- Climate Action Programme: Over 280 global investors appeal to G7 to stand by Paris Agreement. “A total of 282 global investors – representing more than $17 trillion in assets – have appealed to G7 heads of state to adhere to and drive the implementation of their commitments under the Paris Agreement.”
- DW.com: Global voices call for fossil fuels divestment. “Activists have started an eight-day push to get individuals and institutions to divest from oil, gas and coal corporations. Investing in the fossil fuel industry equals pumping money into climate change, they say.”
- The Vulnerable 20 (V20) finance ministers said in their Communique after their meeting with G20 finance ministers: “We call for market distorting fossil fuel production subsidies to be removed immediately and no later than 2020, and urge the G20 to set such as adopt a clear timeframe for fossil fuel subsidy elimination. Fossil fuel consumption subsidies need to be checked rigorously whether they provide an actual benefit to the poor, and subsequently should be replaced worldwide without harm to those relying on them for their basic energy needs.” The Chair's Summary of the V20-G20 Finance Ministers' Meeting also mentioned: "Members present at the meeting also highlighted the importance of removing inefficient fossil fuel subsidies that are inconsistent with sustainable development. They also strongly supported the decision by V20 countries to establish carbon pricing in their countries by 2025."
- Politico: “OECD links climate and economic growth: The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development on Tuesday published a report saying it makes economic sense for G20 member states to combine climate policies with regular economic policy, and that doing so could add 1 percent to their average economic output by 2021. “There is no economic excuse for not acting on climate change, and the urgency to act is high,” said OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría in Berlin. The organization said that infrastructure investments over the next 10-15 years will determine whether the goals of the Paris climate agreement can be achieved.” It also mentions fossil fuel subsidy reform and the Just Transition. Read the report here: "Investing in Climate, Investing in Growth"
- Reuters: Innovative finance needed to find $300 billion a year for climate losses. “With money for action on climate change already in short supply, an estimated $300 billion a year needed to help countries deal with unavoidable climate losses will have to come from innovative new sources, such as a financial transaction tax or carbon tax, researchers say.”
- Medium.com: '//medium.com/@CathClimateMvmt/these-are-the-9-catholic-institutions-that-just-divested-from-fossil-fuels-58c1c47f2d63" data-mce-href="https://medium.com/@CathClimateMvmt/these-are-the-9-catholic-institutions-that-just-divested-from-fossil-fuels-58c1c47f2d63">These are the 9 Catholic Institutions that just divested from fossil fuels: It’s the largest joint Catholic divestment in history'
- Joint UN Environment/World Bank "Roadmap for a Sustainable Financial System": summary released for consultation.
New Europe: EU reaffirms clean energy commitment at G7 Rome Meeting: “While US Secretary of Energy Rick Perry informed his G7 counterparts that the US is currently reviewing its energy and climate policies, all others joined the European Union in reaffirming their solid commitment and determination to implement the Paris Agreement and continue the clean energy transition, EU Energy and Climate Action Commissioner Miguel Arias Cañete said.”
Politico: Energy executive order may slip again: “The [G20] finance ministers did once again reaffirm their commitment to “rationalize and phase out, over the medium term, inefficient fossil fuel subsidies that encourage wasteful consumption, recognizing the need to support the poor.””
Euractiv: Study: Backing fossil fuels is economically and politically irresponsible. “German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel (SPD), who as economic affairs minister often protected the coal industry, now wants to use Germany’s presidency of the G20 to boost his country’s energy transition, the Energiewende, as well as take it global.”
Climate Home: G7 fails to agree Paris climate statement as US turns spoiler. “G7 energy ministers have failed to agree on a statement supporting the Paris climate accord after the US delegation said it was reviewing its position. But the US did back an Obama-era pledge to end “inefficient fossil fuel subsidies” by 2025.” Click here to read the Chair's Summary.
Visual News: A look at the big impact of fossil fuel subsidy reform. “If you’re unsure of what fossil fuel subsidies are, they’re basically measures that lower the cost of fossil fuel energy production, raise the price collected by energy contractors, or lower the price paid by the consumers. A study released by Science Direct, How Large Are Global Fossil Fuel Subsidies?, looks at the economic and environmental benefits of reforming fossil fuel subsidies, concentrating on consumer prices, environmental costs, and overall taxes.”
- Reuters: Shell CEO urges switch to clean energy as plans hefty renewable spending. Royal Dutch Shell Plc Chief Executive Ben van Beurden said: "I do think trust has been eroded to the point that it is becoming a serious issue for our long term future," he continued. "If we are not careful, broader public support for the sector will wane." "This is the biggest challenge as we have at the moment as a company ... The fact that societal acceptance of the energy system as we have it is just disappearing."
- CAN Europe and Greenpeace East Asia's op-ed (Climate Home): EU and China can outflank Trump on climate change
- CAN Europe also sent a letter to EU finance ministers on G20 preparations ahead of ECOFIN Council on February 21st 2017
- Bloomberg: Germany prepares for climate clash with Tillerson at G-20 Talks
Investors worth $2.8 trillion say G20 must end fossil subsidies by 2020
- The Independent: Investors with $2.8 trillion in assets unite against Donald Trump’s climate change denial
- Reuters: G20 urged to ditch fossil fuel subsidies by 2020, go green
- Climate Home: Fossil fuels subsidies ‘jeopardising climate deal’, say major investors