According to the report “Cutting Europe’s lifelines to coal: tracking subsidies in 10 countries” by the think tank ODI (Overseas Development Institute), Spain spends € 754 million per year since 2005 to subsidize coal. The data has been informed by IIDMA who provided support in the preparation of the Spanish chapter.
ODI (Overseas Development Institute’s) report “Cutting Europe’s lifelines to coal: tracking subsidies in 10 countries” analyzes the subsidies received for coal in 10 European countries that produce 84% of greenhouse gas emissions related to European energy: France, the Czech Republic, Germany, Greece, Italy, Hungary, the Netherlands, Poland, Spain and the United Kingdom.
It also draws attention to the fact that six of these ten countries have even introduced new subsidies worth € 875 million a year to supporting the coal sector since 2015, the year of the Paris climate agreement.
“Overall, it says, the 10 countries surveyed have contributed € 6.3 billion a year in subsidies to coal (averaging for the period 2005 to 2016), in a total of 65 subsidies identified.” It also explains that, although it has not been able to quantify the value of 16 of the subsidies, Germany this year´s G20 host provides the highest level of average annual subsidies and that most of the subsidies in this country currently focus in coal mining, although its government has pledged to end the same in 2018.
The International Institute for Law and the Environment, IIDMA, has provided support in the preparation of the Spanish chapter and includes on its website the main conclusions for Spain. Specifically it estimates that the annual average of subsidies to coal in our country amounts to 754 million euro.
In its website, it explains that although some of these coal aids are aimed at supporting the closure of non-competitive coal mines by December 31, 2018 as well as the financing of projects that boost an alternative economic development for the mining regions and job creation for workers impacted by the closure of coal plants (€ 150 million for job creation projects and € 250 million for infrastructure projects between 2013 and 2021, according to the report), some others continue to encourage the production of energy from coal.
“Spain should put an end as soon as possible to subsidies aimed at extending the life of coal-fired power plants and mines, including capacity payments (payments to electricity production units, including 10,004 MW coal plants, to continue operating regardless of the capacity produced) and aids to support environmental improvements of the same, “says IIDMA.
It also points out that it is necessary for our country to refrain from trying to extend existing mechanisms or introduce new mechanisms to support the extraction and burning of this fossil fuel, “the opposite,” it warns, “would represent a breach of the commitments undertaken by Spain when ratifying the Agreement Of Paris published in the BOE in February of 2017 “.