Fuel for Ireland lodges EU complaint over climate action fund levy
Oil industry body Fuels For Ireland has lodged a complaint with the EU over alleged illegal state aid by the government.
The complaint is based on Fuels For Ireland’s claim that oil-based energy consumers have had responsibility for the funding of the government’s Climate Action Fund placed solely upon them and this as put its members at a competitive disadvantage.
It claims that companies using other energy sources, which also generate greenhouse gases, have not been held to account in the same way, RTÉ News reports.
This alleged extra burden on oil-based energy companies comes as a result of a recent change made by the government that will see all income from the oil levy redirected to the Climate Action Fund, instead of to the National Oil Reserves Agency as it had done previously.
The new fund was established to provide assistance and financial support to projects which will help Ireland achieve its climate and energy targets through the provision of at least €500m in Government funding up to 2027.
Fuels For Ireland’s chief executive Kevin McPartlan said: “We are determined to play our part in addressing our climate and environmental emergency and funding Ireland’s Climate Action plans.
“We have made the commitment to be carbon neutral by 2050 but we cannot stand by and allow our consumers to be the only ones paying for Ireland’s Climate Action Fund.”
Mr McPartlan says the body has brought the matter to the attention of Government Ministers a number of times.
He said: “The State is discriminating against people who use home heating oil to keep their homes warm, put petrol or diesel into the cars to get to work or bring their kids to school and we have been forced to bring this issue to the European Commission through this state aid complaint.”
The European Commission will now look into the complaint and see if it warrants further scrutiny.