20 organisations release an EU fossil gas manifesto for a 2035 phase out

Posted on 17 June 2021
The NGOs have signed a manifesto calling for gas to be phased out in the EU by 2035 (June 2021)
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They call for an immediate end of fossil gas subsidies and ensuring that public funding is available to support people and companies to move away from fossil gas.  

The manifesto, which is composed of seven points, is also conceived to counter the widespread, misleading industry narrative that fossil gas is ‘natural’ and that it is needed as a transitional energy source, especially in countries phasing out coal. Gas is a fossil fuel, emitting both carbon dioxide and methane, the latter across the entire supply chain. Fossil gas should not be considered as a “clean” fuel or labeled as “sustainable” as it diverts from investing scarce public resources into the real climate and energy solutions. 

“The immense threat that fossil gas creates for our people and our planet is obvious. With increasingly available and cheaper solutions to replace it, the message from civil society organisations and networks is clear. We will not remain silent on phasing out fossil gas by 2035 and accelerating progress towards a 100% renewable energy system,” said Esther Bollendorff, Senior Gas Policy Coordinator at Climate Action Network Europe.

Camille Maury, Policy Officer at WWF European Policy Office said:
"Despite the endless spin of the gas lobby, we have no need to add new gas infrastructure to produce or blend hydrogen. We can get the limited amounts of hydrogen we need from wind and solar power if we use it only in sectors which can't decarbonise otherwise, like steel and shipping.  Financing gas now risks leaving us with money stranded in obsolete infrastructure which will get in the way of our path to a sustainable future."

Furthermore, the gas industry’s renaissance plans are pushing for using fossil based  hydrogen as a substitute to fossil gas. But only 100% renewable hydrogen can play a role in a few niche sectors where demand needs to be carefully assessed to avoid unnecessary production or infrastructure build. Blending hydrogen into the fossil gas mix must not be supported as it does not significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions, impacts on gas quality and increases costs for consumers.

The 20 organisations have presented this manifesto at a decisive moment for Europe's climate and energy policies. It comes shortly ahead of the Commission’s publication of the “Fit For 55” package and during ongoing negotiations on the future of EU gas infrastructure, coupled to a selection process on controversial gas projects on the 5th PCI list. The role of fossil gas needs to be tackled in other important legislative files which are up for review such as the EU’s gas market rules and the delegated act on taxonomy.

Contact:

Sarah Azau
Communications Manager
sazau@wwf.eu
Tel: +32 473 573 137
 
The NGOs have signed a manifesto calling for gas to be phased out in the EU by 2035 (June 2021)
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