The European Commission has approved plans by the Spanish government to provide billions of euros in state aid to close loss-making coal mines.
In April, the Spanish government had notified the Commission of its plants to provide €2.13 billion in aid to the operators of 26 coal mines that are due to close by 2018. The aid will cover production losses at the mines until closure.
It will also provide financial support to coal miners who will lose their jobs as a result of the mine closures by funding severance payments and social security benefits, as well as financing the safety and remediation works necessary after the mines have closed.
The aid is in line with Council Decision 2010/787/EU, which allows member states to provide public funds to help close of uncompetitive coal mines by 2018.
According to the Commission, “the decision was adopted against he backdrop of the EU policy of encouraging renewable energy sources […] and the diminishing role of indigenous coal in the overall energy mix of EU member states.”
Edited by Jonathan Rowland.