Commission list of Project of Common Interest will further lock EU into fossil energy
Project of Common Interest
Today, the European Commission has published the 5th list of Project of Common Interest (PCI) on cross border energy infrastructures. While COP26 is in full swing, countries are committing to raise their climate ambitions and to move away from fossil fuels, the European Commission is proposing to develop and eventually fund fossil gas projects. The projects on the list will be eligible for EU public funding and accelerated permitting procedures. The Greens/EFA group calls for the rejection of this list. Instead of sinking scarce public financing into unsustainable fossil projects, Greens/EFA Members call for an alternative list and will propose examples of green projects that would speed up EU’s transition.
Marie Toussaint, member of the ENVI, JURI and ITRE committees and responsible for the file comments:
“Europe should respect its own commitments to be a leader of the fight against climate change and turn its back to fossil fuels, instead of giving new incentives and millions of euros that are rather needed for the transition.
“According to the Commission itself, the EU needs to reduce gas consumption by 36% by 2030: we will not reach this target by building new gas infrastructures. If this list is adopted, it will prevent the EU from complying with the Paris Agreement, and the EU climate law.
“We call for the rejection of this PCI list. An alternative list of projects required for a highly energy efficient, integrated energy system based entirely on renewable energy should be proposed instead.”
Bas Eickhout MEP, official delegate to the COP26 in Glasgow and Vice Chair of the Environment Committee, comments:
“The EU cannot be a serious international partner in combating climate change, as long as its own financial sector and public finances are fueling our climate crisis. The Commission’s proposal to make gas projects eligible for funding is a dangerous double standard. Every cent spent on fossil fuel infrastructure hinders the transition towards a climate neutral economy and carries a major risk of becoming a stranded asset in the near future.
“The intention of the Commission to label fossil gas as sustainable in the Taxonomy Regulation is not at all consistent with the Paris Agreement. We call on the European Commission and EU member states to show leadership and declare an end to fossil fuel finance, and translate it into binding legislation, such as the EU Taxonomy.”
Examples of alternative projects for a climate proof 5th PCI list from the Greens/EFA group can be found here.
The delegated act on the 5th PCI list is adopted by the Commission. It will be presented to Members of the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE) on 11 November, who can subsequently adopt of reject the proposal in its entirety