EU to Limit Natural Gas Projects Due to Climate Goals

The European Union is set to restrict funding for natural gas projects due to the Union’s climate goals. Last year, the EU handed nearly 1 billion euros to Projects of Common Interest, which receive EU funding and permits, including power grids and a gas pipeline.

However, the European Commission looks to cut Europe’s greenhouse gas emissions, and rewrite the TEN-E rules to make them greener.

The proposed changes for the rules include a funding restriction to natural gas and oil infrastructure.

Under the proposed rules, “smart gas grids” could get funding if they support “the integration of renewable and low-carbon gases” into the gas network. Pipelines that carry hydrogen are also eligible for funding.

Renewable energy campaigners said this was a loophole that could support pipelines that transport mostly natural gas, with a small share of green gases, or pipelines that transport hydrogen produced from natural gas in a process that causes CO2 emissions.

Natural gas powered plants produce less CO2 emissions than coal; but they are not carbon-free, which makes them incompatible with the EU’s plan to have zero emissions by 2050.

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