Press release

Energy subsidies

Oettinger must not be allowed to hide the truth about distorting coal and nuclear subsidies

The European Commission is set to present a report on the situation with regard to state aid for energy in Europe. Ahead of the presentation, the Greens have expressed concern about reported pressure from EU energy commissioner Oettinger to change the Commission’s own findings, to play down the level of aid received by nuclear power and fossil fuels (1). Commenting on leaked drafts of the report, EU energy spokesperson Claude Turmes said:

“The attempt by commissioner Oettinger to censor the European Commission’s own findings on state subsidies for energy is an embarrassment for the Commission. The purpose of this paper is to shape core policy for the energy sector; manipulating its findings to suit the political agenda of one individual would totally undermine the credibility of the Commission’s work in this area. Commission president Barroso must intervene to ensure the real figures on state subsidies to fossil-fuelled and nuclear energy are reinstated.

“The Commission’s original findings made clear that state subsidies to coal, gas and nuclear power represent the biggest threat to the functioning EU energy market. The Commission must ensure EU policies prioritise redressing this. This means ensuring a meaningful price for CO2 under the EU’s emissions trading scheme, reflecting the true cost of fossil fuels. It also means that the Commission must finally come forward with proposals to address the scandalous situation around the liability of nuclear reactors. The public cannot continue to foot the bill for nuclear liability and the Commission must stop stalling on EU legislative proposals.”

(1) The presentation was originally planned for this week but it has been postponed until next week. According to leaked drafts, original figures on the amount of state subsidies received by fossil fuel-powered energy and nuclear power have been removed.

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