EU parliament votes to allow some gas projects to get green transition money By Reuters

EU parliament votes to allow some gas projects to get

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Members of the European Parliament wait for the start of a plenary session in Brussels

By Kate Abnett

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Parliament on Tuesday voted to allow some gas projects to get support from the European Union’s flagship green transition fund, teeing up tough talks with the EU Commission and national goverments, which have already agreed to exclude the fuel.

The EU wants to launch a multi-billion-euro Just Transition Fund, using cash from the bloc’s coronavirus recovery fund and budget, to help fossil fuel dependent regions shift to cleaner industries.

The money aims to push countries towards EU goals to reach net zero emissions by 2050, and a new, tougher 2030 emissions-cutting target, which the EU Commission will propose this week.

But rules to decide who gets the money need to be finalised by the European Parliament, Commission and national goverments.

The parliament will formally approve its position with another vote on Wednesday folowing the vote to support an amendment to allow some gas projects to receive the money.

Its stance is at odds with that of the Commission and national governments, who must approval the final rules for the Fund, and have already said it should be off limits to all fossil fuels.

Gas emits roughly 50% less CO2 than coal when burned in power plants, but it is also associated with leaks of methane, a potent planet-warming greenhouse gas.

The divisions highlight the tough task facing the EU – which, having pledged ambitious climate action, must agree how to make that happen across its 27 member states.

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