The European Parliament voted yesterday the regulation of the Just Transition Fund worth 17.5 billion euro, which will allow the financing of fossil fuel projects, a fact considered by Bankwatch as “a step backwards from achieving the objectives set by the European Green Deal,” as announced by the environmental organization.
“One week before the final vote, the Bankwatch Romania Association sent a letter to the Romanian MEPs requesting the exclusion of the financing of natural gas from the Just Transition Fund. Proposed in January 2020 by the European Commission to support polluting industry-dependent regions in the transition to a climate-neutral economy, the fund regulation initially stated that fossil fuel projects would not be eligible for funding. Member State leaders supported the proposal in the European Council, but MEPs in the REGI committee proposed financing natural gas in July. Yesterday, the plenary of the European Parliament voted to confirm this change,” it is shown in the Bankwatch release.
In the letter, the non-governmental organization argued that “natural gas has significant emissions of carbon dioxide and methane that contribute to climate change. Methane has strong heating effects: it is the second most harmful greenhouse gas and contributes 25% to climate change.”
”The name of the fund clearly expresses its role: it must finance the transition, meaning the abandonment of fossil fuels in favor of clean energy, and it must be just, that is, to provide solutions for people in regions with polluting industries. The vote of today’s MEPs does the opposite: take the money allocated to the communities and put it in the pockets of polluting corporations,” said Alexandru Mustață, coordinator for the just transition at the Bankwatch Association.
“By approving the financing of new natural gas projects, MEPs have condemned Europe’s already vulnerable regions to at least two more decades of polluting energy. This will put considerable obstacles in the way of the EU’s goal of achieving climate neutrality by 2050.”