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Reduce oil and coal

The use of fossil energies is the main cause of the climate change.

Each year the world releases approximately 6 billion tonnes of carbon (gigatonnes or GtC) in the form of carbon dioxide (CO2) from the burning of fossil fuels (oil, coal and gas). These emissions have increased at around 2% per year over the past several decades. CO2 is the major greenhouse gas (GHG) and its significance is likely to grow during this century. Fossil fuel use was responsible for nearly 60% of the GHG emissions in 1990.

Besides climate change, fossil fuel use is associated with many types of pollution, such as acid rain, serious air pollution in cities and environmental disasters like the Erika. Furthermore fossils are linked with huge problems of corruption, environmental disasters and human rights violation.

The extraction of the fossil fuels creates also environmental damage, threats the security of local people and of the workers employed in the extractive industries. Moreover oil and mining does usually not benefit local communities!

A recent study by the European Environment Agency shows that EU member states are still heavily subsidising fossil fuels: almost €22 billion of European taxpayer's money is used to keep the costs of coal, oil and gas artificially low, putting renewable energies at a competitive disadvantage. This does not even include indirect costs such as environmental degradation damages or threats to public health, which the fossil fuel industry keeps externalising to the environment and communities. If these costs are included in the calculation, the amount of public money used to subsidise fossil fuels amounts to an annual €60-90 billion!

We live in the age of fossil energies.

In the transport, industry, chemical sector or the energy production, without the fossils almost nothing would work. On the other hand the ressources are getting scarce as the development of the whole world needs more and more fossil energies.

Therefore the dependence of our economies towards fossil fuels, in particular towards oil, leads to major geopolitical conflicts and wars.

To set a worldwide sustainable energy economy and to avoid dangerous effects of climate change, the Greens work to force clear and decisive decisions to:

  • Transform the global energy system away from one dependent on fossil fuels to one that is based on new renewables, energy efficiency and energy conservation.
  • Withdraw completely from old fashioned energy sources, like oil and coal by 2050.
  • Implement an EU-wide eco-tax on fossil fuels with a yearly increase of 7 % in the real cost of motor fuels.
  • Introduce an EU-wide eco-tax on flying.

Analysis on market concentration in power generation (pdf)

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