The European Union plans to stop funding new oil and gas pipelines in future, as it switches the focus to promoting energy sources that are less harmful to the climate. Negotiators from the EU member states and the European Parliament agreed on Wednesday morning on a reform of the TEN-E regulation which governs the expansion of cross-border energy networks. The revised regulation sets new priorities in energy production in order to achieve the EU’s climate goals, with the aim of promoting electricity grids, lines to off-shore wind farms and for climate-friendly gases such as hydrogen.
New projects exclusively using fossil oil or natural gas may no longer receive EU support in future. Funding is to be provided through what are known as projects of common interest (PCIs), which can be approved more quickly and supported with EU money. The European Commission presented a new PCI list in November. However, it still includes gas projects that were part of a previous list, such as gas pipelines already planned for Malta or Cyprus, drawing criticism from environmental organizations, as these can still be financed by EU funds, even though gas as a fossil fuel emits greenhouse gases.
These decisions still need to be confirmed by the Council of EU States and the European Parliament, a step considered a formality. The EU aims to slash its emissions by at least 55 per cent by 2030 compared to in 1990 and seeks to become climate neutral by 2050.(dpa/NAN)