European Commission funding coal lobbyists is unacceptable, it’s time for answers about the RFCS

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When, at the end of 2019, the European Commission announced its brand new policy to make the European Union climate neutral by 2050, it looked like a crystal-clear point had been made: all available resources would be invested to boost renewables, energy efficiency and, in general, green research once and for all.

But among the folds of the EU budget a multi-million Euro relic continues to survive despite efforts to make Europe greener: the European Commission’s ‘Research Fund for Coal and Steel’ (RFCS). Born in the frame of the European Coal and Steel Community Treaty, when the treaty expired in 2002 its budget was transferred to the EU to finance research projects about coal and steel.

As the climate crisis becomes increasingly urgent, nothing has changed for the RFCS; even today this fund spends €40 million every year on projects which are sometimes hard (or impossible) to reconcile with a genuine commitment to carbon neutrality.

In many cases, it’s simply an unacceptable waste of money that is undermining the most defining policy of the present Commission: the European Green Deal.



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