An announcement by the European Commission, as reported by the Chinese news agency, has the EC supporting the continued use and subsidisation of coal with the simple statement “No change should be made…” They also note that “domestic coal production reduces the energy dependency of the Union and contributes to a diversification of our sources of energy supply” – this could be reflection of recent political tensions with Russia over the supply of gas.
Using double speak the press agency EurActiv reports that the EU “has not expressed a commitment to phase out coal completely from Europe’s energy mix.”
Greenpeace has criticised the decision saying: “If Europe is serious about fighting climate change, as is claimed, then it must divert public money and support from polluting energy sources such as coal to clean energy options such as efficiency measures and renewable energy technologies. With today’s report, the Commission has missed an opportunity to put an end to coal subsidies once and for all.”
The message is clearly “do as I say not as I do” and China and other countries will continue to exploit this ambivalence.