European Council resists calls for Just Transition Fund cash to be available for gas and nuclear generation


An EU spokesperson has confirmed the heads of the bloc’s 27 member states have announced an intent to block any of the European Commission’s proposed €40 billion energy transition money being spent on gas or nuclear power facilities.

The commission has proposed pulling together a Just Transition Fund (JTF) to be spent helping regions dependent on fossil fuels transition to clean energy as part of its much-vaunted Green Deal for Europe. The fund would comprise €30 billion from the bloc’s coronavirus recovery fund and €10 billion from the EU budget for 2021-27, both of which are yet to be ratified.

Reports late last week suggested the 27 heads of state who make up EU joint legislative body the European Council had agreed to resist calls from eight EU states to permit the proposed JTF to be spent on gas and nuclear facilities, as well as clean energy generation.

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An EU spokesperson has told pv magazine the council wants to ensure the cash is spent only on renewables and confirmed the plans will now be negotiated with the other EU legislative body, the European Parliament, with the commission mediating.

“We would hope for an agreement as soon as possible, certainly this autumn,” said the spokesperson, indicating a hoped-for resolution by December 20.

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