Wealthy countries have nearly tripled the subsidies they hand out to coal-fired power plants. Despite pledging a decade ago to cut subsidies, not a single EU Member State has set out how it plans to phase out financial support for fossil fuels. Meanwhile, the “renaissance of coal use” was the single-biggest contributor to rising CO2 emissions in 2018.

The COVID-19 pandemic has seen greenhouse gas emissions crater as the world goes into lockdown. However, experts warn that this drop will prove temporary unless countries make the switch to renewable energy. Many analysts argue that coal, in particular, is not a competitive fuel source, yet is being propped up thanks to substantial government support.

What do our readers think? We had a comment come in from Maia, who says governments offer too much support for fossil fuel companies, including coal. Should EU governments stop subsidising coal?

To get a response, we spoke to Erkki Maillard, Senior Vice-President for European and International Affairs at the Électricité de France (EDF) Group, a French electric utility company and one of the largest producers of electricity in the world. What would he say?

NOTE: These interviews were carried out before the COVID-19 pandemic.

For another perspective, we put the same question to Paula Pinho from the European Commission, where she is Acting Director at Directorate A Energy Policy. What would she say to Maia?

Should EU governments stop subsidising coal? Or, at the very least, stop introducing new subsidies? Let us know your thoughts and comments in the form below and we’ll take them to policymakers and experts for their reactions?

IMAGE CREDITS: Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

9 comments Post a commentcomment

What do YOU think?

  1. avatar

    In uk coal provided 30% of energy in 2014…last year it was 2%.
    In my lifetime employment in coal production has fallen from approx 700000 to less than 500.
    Countries need programs to move away from use of coal and migrate to other energy sources.

  2. avatar

    EU governments should absolutely stop subsidising not only the coal industry in particular, but also the subsidies of all the other sectors and industries as a step to reduce the inevitable and disruptive moral hazard, and concurrently, to allow new start ups to emerge!
    A good and effective starting point could be the replacement of the paradox of the so called “Paris Climate Agreement” named after the capital of France, the country with the worst ratio of nuclear reactors and a highly likely area of future European catastrophe!

  3. avatar

    Absolutely! Instead, we should subsidise the f*** out of renewable energy. Nothing is gonna change if we keep pumping money into fossil fuels, but we desperately need change!

  4. avatar

    Stop subsidising coal and stop subsidising the car industry, if its not willing to commit to building environmentally friendly cars. We cant expect ordinary citizens to make all the sustainable choices, when the unsustainable ones are way cheaper!

  5. avatar

    Of course. Nuclear energy is Cleaner…

  6. avatar

    Such question requires an answer from a competent professionalist.

  7. avatar

    The new green deal is a way to collect taxes. This world is turning out to become a feudalism. We are slaves. The politics the Oligarcs and politics the great corporations are rulling. Travel will be only for them, and many other freedom are endangered

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