BRUSSELS (REUTERS) - The European Parliament on Tuesday (Sept 15) voted to allow some gas projects to get support from the European Union's flagship green transition fund, teeing up tough talks with the EU Commission and national governments, which have already agreed to exclude the fuel.
The EU wants to launch a multi-billion-euro Just Transition Fund, using cash from the bloc's coronavirus recovery fund and budget, to help fossil fuel-dependent regions shift to cleaner industries.
The money aims to push countries towards EU goals to reach net zero emissions by 2050, and a new, tougher 2030 emissions-cutting target, which the EU Commission will propose this week.
But rules to decide who gets the money need to be finalised by the European Parliament, the EU Commission and national governments.
The European Parliament will formally approve its position with another vote on Wednesday following the vote to support an amendment to allow some gas projects to receive the money.
Its stance is at odds with that of the EU Commission and national governments, which must approve the final rules for the Just Transition Fund, and have already said it should be off limits to all fossil fuels.
Gas emits roughly 50 per cent less CO2 than coal when burned in power plants, but it is also associated with leaks of methane, a potent planet-warming greenhouse gas.
The divisions highlight the tough task facing the EU - which, having pledged ambitious climate action, must agree how to make that happen across its 27 member states.