Edited by Mona Hymel, Larry Kreiser, Janet E. Milne and Hope Ashiabor
Chapter 7: Cutting Europe’s lifelines to coal subsidies
Coal subsidies were reviewed in ten countries responsible for 84 per cent of Europe’s energy-related greenhouse gas emissions: France, Czech Republic, Germany, Greece, Italy, Hungary, the Netherlands, Poland, Spain and the UK. Despite commitments on climate change, fossil fuel subsidies and air pollution, all countries provided some form of subsidy to coal, through budgetary support or tax breaks, in 2016. Six countries have introduced new coal subsidies, worth €875 million per year, since the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement. In aggregate, €6.3 billion per year was provided (average for 2005–2016) across a total of 65 coal subsidies identified. Only a minority (€859 million per year) are supporting workers and communities to transition away from coal mining, while subsidies with the stated objective of the energy transition are being directed to coal (€1 billion per year). We recommend that European governments increase transparency and accountability to meet existing subsidy phase-out commitments – and undertake consistent annual reporting.
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