By Paul Homewood
h/t Patsy Lacey
Oh well, it’s only our money!
An investigation found that Brussels blew the colossal sum of cash on a drive to build underground storage facilities for CO2 emissions – but no such facilities were ever constructed.
This week the architect of the scheme, a former Lib Dem MEP, admitted this was because officials bungled their predictions for the environmental costs facing businesses.
The revelations, uncovered by the website EUobserver, will heap further pressure on EU chiefs who are already facing increased scrutiny over their spending due to Brexit.
Britain’s departure from the bloc is set to blow a £9 billion a year hole in its budget, with a number of member states actively calling for Brussels’ largesse to be be reined in.
Eurosceptics in the UK have long complained about the cost and red tape related to European environmental regulations which they accuse of stifling entrepreneurial enterprise.
However, many academics and officials have raised concerns about Britain lowering standards once it leaves the EU and the detrimental impact this could have on the public health and the environment.
The reports concern a Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) project the EU set up in 2007, which was designed to help companies reduce their emissions and so save money on Brussels’ green taxes.
Under the scheme businesses could buy pollution permits, or allowances, from eurocrats the proceeds of which would then be spent by the EU on capturing and storing carbon emissions.
However the fund, called NER300, did not support a single such project after officials catastrophically miscalculated carbon emissions pricing in Europe, which they expected to go up but which actually dropped drastically just after the programme was announced.
Reflecting on the scheme he helped create, former Lib Dem MEP Chris Davies told EUobserver: “The expectation was that the carbon price would rise from thirty euros up to a hundred euros.
“The incentive to not to have to pay a hundred euros a tonne for every tonne of CO2 emitted, was very strong indeed. The assumption was industry would do it, without us requiring any other means. Industry would take all these risks.”
However, he said that when the carbon price crashed – it now stands at just seven euros – the scheme attracted virtually no participants and only ended up funding projects already in the renewable category.