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89 organisations call on President Barroso to end environmentally harmful subsidies

17 March 2011| Press release

89 European and international organisations have sent a letter to EU Commission President, Jose Barroso, requesting an update on the status of the roadmap for the elimination of environmentally harmful subsidies.

In 2006 the EU committed to defining a roadmap for the removal of environmentally damaging subsidies by 2008. The European Commission reiterated this commitment in 2007. In 2010 the Europe 2020 Strategy stressed the need to phase out environmentally harmful subsidies. This is in addition to numerous calls by EU heads of state and the European Parliament for the phasing out of environmentally harmful subsidies.

James Thornton, ClientEarth CEO, said: “By failing to abolish environmentally harmful subsidies, the European Commission has ignored its own commitment and the requests of both the Parliament and Council. It is an outrage public funds should be used to subsidise environmentally damaging activities.

“The EU is currently engaged in the essential work of reforming both the Common Fisheries Policy and the Common Agricultural Policy. How can we know these policies will be supporting sustainable sectors if there is no assessment of the potential environmental harm of these subsidies?”


Read the letter here


1. The EU’s sustainable development strategy,
2. DG Environment has commissioned a study (Contract 07.0307/2008/514349/ETU/G1) providing methodology for identification, assessment and quantification of environmentally harmful subsidies, but it does not have an official status. []
3. The full list of signatory organisations can be found at


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