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European Parliament energy committee rejects objection to PCI list

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European Parliament energy committee rejects objection to PCI list

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Objection raised over inclusion of number of gas projects

Committee MEPs reject objection by 54 votes to 17

Environmentalists say list incompatible with Paris targets

London — The European Parliament's energy committee on Wednesday voted to reject an objection to the EU's recently published Projects of Common Interest (PCI) list.

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An objection to the fourth PCI list -- which identifies the highest priority energy infrastructure projects to be built in Europe -- was raised because of the inclusion of a number of gas projects.

The objection was put forward by Green MEP Marie Toussaint and called for a rejection of the entire PCI list.

But committee MEPs rejected the objection by 54 votes to 17, with two abstentions.

PCI project developers can apply for funding from the Eur5.35 billion ($6.2 billion) Connecting Europe Facility, which runs until the end of 2020.

The PCI list includes projects such as: the Shannon LNG import project in Ireland; the Krk LNG project in Croatia; a gas interconnector between Poland and Slovakia; the Interconnector Greece-Bulgaria (IGB); the expansion of Bulgaria's Chiren gas storage facility; the BRUA gas corridor from Bulgaria to Hungary; the TAP gas pipeline from Greece to Italy; and the EastMed gas pipeline to link Israel and Cyprus to Greece.

A motion to reject the list is now expected to be put to the whole Parliament for plenary votes in February.

Environmentalist reaction

Environmentalist groups Friends of the Earth Europe and Food & Water Europe slammed the committee vote, saying it would put the climate neutrality goals of the European Green Deal in jeopardy.

"There can be no truly Green Deal with more fossil gas," Colin Roche, climate justice coordinator for Friends of the Earth Europe, said.

"It's now up to all MEPs to reject this vast list of mega-pipelines and other new fossil fuel projects -- they are not compatible with the climate emergency and tarnish the credibility of any European Green Deal," Roche said.

At the time of the list's publication in October last year, the European Commission's vice president for energy union, Maros Sefcovic, said the list would help Europe build "strong and well-connected networks across Europe in order to enhance security of supply."