Fossil fuels are heavily subsidized in the EU. In 2018, for example, fossil fuel subsidies in the EU amounted to €50 billion– twice as much as investments in new wind and solar power generation capacities. Subsidies for fossil fuels undermine climate policies, as it is their very purpose to make the production and consumption of fossil fuels cheaper.
Regardless of its climate commitments, the EU has continuously failed to phase out fossil fuels. Ending fossil fuels has been one of the most protracted and deadlocked issues of EU climate and energy policies. The Conference on the Future of Europe could give new momentum to this deadlocked debate.
The Conference should call for a legally binding deadline for the end of fossil fuel subsidies, and a truly green recovery that clearly excludes any funding for fossil fuel infrastructure. To facilitate more efficient EU rule-making on energy taxation, the Conference should recommend expanding majority voting to this policy field.