118,075 of 150,000 signatures

Laschet, Andi Scheuer, Anja Weisgerber, CDU, CSU, SPD, Martin Schultz, Carsten Traeger, GroKo parties, Lars Klingbeil​ and Markus Soeder

Petition:

We call on you to act urgently to end the use of coal in our energy systems. We demand that you draw up concrete, actionable plans to phase out coal, while making sure that people and regions affected are treated fairly and not left behind.

Why is this important?

Across Europe and the world we’re facing twin health and climate crises, and burning coal is one of the main culprits.

We urgently need to move our energy system towards clean renewables and energy efficiency. Now, a new EU law to reform our energy market is in the making, and it could be the game-changer we need. But there’s a catch - a big one. Instead of setting the stage for a clean energy revolution, it might end up granting public money to polluters. Again.

The current proposal for the new EU regulation still allows coal subsidies under the name of so called “capacity mechanisms”. The coal industry and some of the European decision makers want it to allow member states to subsidize coal with our taxpayers’ money, and pay power plants to stand by and be ready to pump dirty electricity into the grid. [1]

Imagine: coal burning plants are earning money for the power they produce even as they damage our health and environment - and get extra subsidies just for being available! It’s a pretty sweet deal, and for many coal-burning plants, that is actually the only way they can stay competitive on a market already full of cheap, clean renewable energy.

But we still have a chance to act to stop European decision-makers from granting the dirty, obsolete coal industry yet another lifeline.

Before becoming law, the proposal is about to enter the crucial stage: negotiations between the European Commission, European Parliament and the Council of the EU. Some countries are fighting hard to keep their dirty coal industries alive, but many are on the side of a clean energy future. And the coal industry is getting desperate - they know that without public subsidies their time of spewing dirt into our air will end fast. So they’re putting all they’ve got into lobbying decision-makers.

This is why we need to mobilise. At this crucial first stage of negotiations on the shape of the future of Europe’s energy market, our voice - the voice of EU citizens - needs to be heard louder than that of coal lobbyists.

We’re demanding that the European Parliament, the Council of the EU and the EU Commission commit to stop harmful coal subsidies and the misuse of our public money, and immediately put an end to use of capacity mechanisms to support coal plants.

Handing subsidies to coal utilities will prolong the life of this dirty, inflexible, unreliable infrastructure at a time in history when what we need are more dynamic, modern energy solutions. This money could help Europe and its regions develop clean green energy, modernise electricity grids to make them more efficient, invest into innovative batteries and finally let EU citizens become full players on the energy market. We cannot let it pay for any more coal!

The WeMove community is joining forces with civil society groups across Europe to work together to help heal coal’s social, health, environmental, and economic damage, and its negative impact on human rights. We are calling for a Europe Beyond Coal.

Right now, this means: no more public subsidies for coal. Ever. Our taxpayers’ money must go to regions to help them transform to a cleaner, more sustainable future, not to fossil corporations to continue their polluting business as usual.

References

[1] Eg. The recently approved Polish capacity market which until 2030 may hand out around 15 billion euros to energy utilities. Without robust EU rules for capacity mechanisms the vast majority of that sum might end up with coal plants. (Source - in Polish: https://www.documents.clientearth.org/wp-content/uploads/library/2017-12-12-ocena-ustawy-o-rynku-mocy-ce-pl.pdf)

More reading:

CAN Europe position paper on capcity mechanisms: http://www.caneurope.org/docman/coal-phase-out/3051-can-europe-position-on-capacity-mechanisms/file

CAN Europe PR on European Parliament’s position: http://www.caneurope.org/publications/press-releases/1548-meps-take-a-step-towards-fixing-electricity-market-rules

For health impacts from coal power plants go to: http://www.beyond-coal.eu

Photo: Greg McNevin / Europe Beyond Coal

In partnership with Europe Beyond Coal:

Please can you chip in?

Europe must be coal-free: that’s a fact. But to make it happen in time to save lives and the future of our climate, we need to ramp up the pressure on decision-makers now. That’s why we’ve teamed up with partners from all over Europe in this long-term campaign to phase-out coal.

But effective campaigns need funding, and to be ready to mobilise and put pressure when and where it’s most needed, we need the stability and flexibility that only small regular donations from our WeMove community members like yourself can provide. Can you chip in each month and help the fight against coal go on?

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