Don’t Subsidize Coal Plants

Target: Chairman of the European Parliament Environment Committee Giovanni La Via

Goal: Don’t let the EU Emissions Trading Scheme be used to fund coal plant construction in Greece.

Two billion dollar coal plants in Greece are on track to receive free carbon credits under the European cap-and-trade system, a move that will allow the plants to emit 7 million tonnes of greenhouse gases each year. These plants would continue to operate until 2060. Without free carbon credits, these new coal plants will not be economically viable. Furthermore, while proponents of the plants argue that they are necessary to maintain energy security in Greece, according to a WWF study, investing in a transition to renewable sources such as wind and solar power would be cleaner and also more cost effective for Greece.

Climate scientists estimate between 80 to 90 percent of proven fossil fuel resources must remain unburned to avoid catastrophic climate change. Furthermore, under the Paris Agreement, which recently came into force, global temperature increases cannot exceed 2 degrees with governments aiming for 1.5 degrees of warming. Continued fossil fuel developments, especially those that will continue to operate for decades, are clearly incompatible with climate change mitigation.

In order for these plants to be viable, they must win approval from the European Parliament Environment Committee. Sign our petition and demand that the European Parliament Environment Committee rejects the application.  


Dear Chairman La Via,

I am writing regarding Greek 10C derogation claims for the Ptolemaida V plants. As you know, these plants will not be economically viable without the allocation of free credits, they will emit 7 million tonnes of CO2 each year and will continue to operate into the 2060s. Given that 80-90 percent of fossil fuel resources must remain in the ground to avoid catastrophic climate change, such a long term, high emitting, and polluting development is clearly incompatible with the global fight against climate change, and the legally binding 2-degree goal stated in the Paris Agreement.

Proponents of these plants have stated that they are critical for energy security in Greece as the country’s 16 coal burning plants begin to go out of commission. While energy security is absolutely a valid concern, according to a WWF study it would be more cost effective for Greece to transition to renewable energy sources such as solar and wind power. Granting their 10C derogation claim would amount to subsidizing an inefficient and costly energy source at the expense of new, more efficient options. Using the EU ETS as means to fund fossil fuel developments would undermine the very purpose of the program. I urge you to reject this application.   


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: PD Tillman

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One Comment

  1. I say it is time to raise up our voices and whatever means that are available to fight back against this cruelty. Come on people stop writing how upset this makes you and DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT!

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