Otago Daily Times

Call to end fos­sil fuel sup­port

- Business · Climate Change · Germany News · European Politics · Ecology · Transportation · Politics · Energy · Industries · European Union · European Parliament · Austria · Denmark · Estonia · Hungary

BRUS­SELS: A se­nior Euro­pean Union of­fi­cial urged mem­ber na­tions yes­ter­day to stop sub­sid­ing fos­sil fu­els, which are un­der­min­ing the bloc’s poli­cies to tackle cli­mate change.

‘‘The Euro­pean Green Deal is clear: fos­sil fuel sub­si­dies have to end,’’ EU En­ergy Com­mis­sioner Kadri Sim­son told the Euro­pean Par­lia­ment, re­fer­ring to the EU’s plan to reach net zero emis­sions by 2050.

‘‘They re­main a ma­jor im­ped­i­ment to a cost­ef­fi­cient en­ergy and cli­mate tran­si­tion, but also to a func­tion­ing in­ter­nal mar­ket.’’

EU coun­tries spent ¤159 bil­lion ($NZ282 bil­lion) on en­ergy sub­si­dies in 2018, ac­cord­ing to a com­mis­sion re­port pub­lished this month. Nearly a third of that went on fos­sil fu­els.

Fos­sil fuel sub­si­dies among the EU’s 27 coun­tries in­creased by 6% from 2015­18, though some, in­clud­ing Aus­tria, Den­mark, Es­to­nia and Hun­gary, bucked the trend.

The hand­outs in­clude sup­port from gov­ern­ments and pub­lic bod­ies to coal, gas and oil, in the form of grants, loans, tax in­cen­tives or price sup­port.

The com­mis­sion will re­form EU tax rules next year to tackle ex­emp­tions for some fu­els. Sim­son said it would work with mem­ber states to end pol­lut­ing sub­si­dies.

It also warned that Europe’s spend­ing on clean en­ergy re­search had slowed in re­cent years. — Reuters

 ?? REUTERS ?? Poland’s Belcha­tow power sta­tion, Europe's largest coal­fired power plant.
REUTERS Poland’s Belcha­tow power sta­tion, Europe's largest coal­fired power plant.

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