EGEC, together with 62 leading renewable energy, local government and civil society associations wrote to MEPs asking for the removal of fossil gas from the Just Transition Fund vote, which takes place on Monday 6th July.
Dear Member of the REGI Committee,
We call on you to vote in favour of a better future for communities by voting for regions to leap forward, not backwards. In your vote on the 6 July, we ask the REGI Committee to exclude fossil fuels from the Just Transition Fund – including fossil gas – and support a just transition for all.
Fossil gas is a fuel with substantial CO2 and methane emissions contributing to climate change and its catastrophic impacts on people and biodiversity. Methane is 86 times more potent than carbon dioxide (CO2) over a 20-year period, making it the second most important greenhouse gas, contributing to 25% of warming experienced today.
Fossil gas infrastructure is also not compatible with most renewable gases, and almost certainly not for renewable gases at scale. The European Commission and the International Energy Agency (IEA) have successively scaled down gas demand projections for 2030.2
The EU’s Just Transition Fund is an integral part of the EU Green Deal. It has the potential to ensure that Europe’s transition to a climate neutral, resilient and healthy future leaves no region – or person – behind. But this requires a strong commitment to a climate-neutrality goal that would limit global temperature rise to 1.5°C.
Communities have an opportunity to leap forward to a more sustainable, more resilient and healthier future away from carbon extractive industries. Investing in fossil gas comes with huge cost to the climate, Europe’s competitiveness and European societies. Meanwhile, renewable energy investments bring up to three times more jobs3 per euro invested than the same amount invested in fossil fuels – and renewable jobs are more likely to be local than those in fossil gas.
It’s time to face the truth: fossil gas has no place in EU funds, including the Just Transition Fund. The Council realised this and so too must the Parliament.