EU could spend less on green policies than promised

24 May 18

The EU could spend less on green policies in 2021-27 than promised by the European Commission, a climate change campaigning group has warned.

Leaked proposals for the European regional development and cohesion funds – aimed at strengthening economic and social cohesion through the bloc – showed members states will be required to spend 20% of these on climate related actions over the six-year period.

Umbrella-group Climate Action Network Europe has said this will result in much less funding for green policies than the 25% of the EU entire budget – which would amount to a total of €320bn - for climate change promised by the European Commission on the 2 May.

The group said that to achieve the same level of funding 40% of the regional development and cohesion funds would have to be dedicated to climate change projects in EU countries.

Markus Trilling, finance and subsidies policy coordinator at CAN, said: “By setting a 25% climate action target, the European Commission has acknowledged that more needs to be done in Europe to fight climate change and that the EU budget is an important tool to deliver on higher climate ambition.

“Now it is highly worrying to see that the European Commission is not adhering to its own proposal and not following through with its climate action commitments.”

He added: “The European Commission urgently needs to walk the talk in its legislative proposals and ensure that the climate action commitments are met”.

It said the commission proposed that at least a quarter of its expenditure be spent on climate action-related activities “in the new multi-annual financial framework”.

A spokesperson for the commission said the EU was the first region in the world to mainstream climate spending into its whole budget.

“The commission has integrated climate action into all major EU spending programmes, in cohesion policy, regional development, energy, transport, research and innovation, the Common Agricultural Policy as well as the EU’s development policy, making the EU budget a driver of sustainability,” they said.

The spokesperson told PF International that they do not comment on leaks.

The Commission is planning to adopt the proposals for the fund over the next few weeks.

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