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?