(29 January 2016) – The countries of Eastern and Central Europe rarely use their EU funding for energy transition projects, instead using the money to entrench their dependence on fossil fuels.
According to a report published by Friends of the Earth Europe on Tuesday (26 January), only 7% of the €178 billion allocated to nine countries in Eastern and Central Europe is spent on renewable energy, energy efficiency improvements or “smart grids”.
The report covers allocations from both the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the Cohesion Fund for the period 2014-2020, in Poland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, Croatia and the Czech Republic.
In practice, the majority of these funds are spent on coal, gas, and polluting transport, “which locks these countries into dependency on fossil fuels, to the detriment of renewable energies and energy efficiency,” said Markus Trilling, a specialist in European financing at Bankwatch. (EurActiv)