Brussels, Thursday February 9 – The European Parliament today agreed its position on a law that will decide the future of fossil gas use in Europe, which fails to back a managed phase-out for the fossil fuel that is at the heart of the climate and cost of living crises, according to Global Witness. 

In a vote on the reform of the EU’s gas market in the Energy (ITRE) Committee, MEPs voted to: 

  • Hand control to the fossil gas industry to develop more gas infrastructure on the non-binding promise that it will carry hydrogen at an undetermined point in the future, creating a serious risk of fossil gas lock-in. 

  • Create a weak carbon emissions standard for blue hydrogen that conflicts with existing EU policy, and ensures fossil gas will continue to be imported and burned to produce hydrogen. [1]  

However, the deal would oblige local gas grid operators to start planning for a gas phase-out.

Dominic Eagleton, senior gas campaigner at Global Witness, said: 

This should be Europe’s big chance to plan for a managed phase-out of gas, the fossil fuel at the heart of the cost of living and climate crises. Instead MEPs have caved to the demands of the fossil fuel lobby by agreeing a mish-mash of policies that hands more control of our energy system to the fossil gas industry, and ensures that we will keep burning fossil gas to produce hydrogen. It’s up to national energy ministers to change tack next month and push for a comprehensive fossil gas phase-out.” 

MEPs agreed to bypass a plenary vote, meaning the Parliament’s position is now agreed. Energy ministers are expected to agree their position on the law by the end of March.