European carbon-transition fund announced by EC

17 Dec 20

A €17.5bn fund for regions in the EU that are heavily dependent on fossil fuels has been agreed by negotiators from the European Council and the bloc’s parliament.

The Just Transition Fund will be available to territories facing “serious socio-economic challenges” in meeting the EU’s 2030 target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 55%.

It will be particularly aimed at regions phasing out the use of coal, lignite, peat and oil shale, and for those working to transform their local industries if they are particularly carbon-intensive.

“The JTF is an affirmation of our solidarity and political will as a union to tackle climate change together,” said Peter Altmaier, economic affairs and energy minister in Germany, the country currently presiding over the Council.

“It will help to reconcile economy and ecology. We cannot implement the European Green Deal without mitigating the consequences for those most affected by the decarbonisation of our economy.”

Member states will develop ‘just transition plans’ for the affected regions, and financing will be available for projects such as research at universities, decarbonising local transport, retraining workers and investing in new or small firms.

The fund will comprise €10bn from the EU’s Covid-19 recovery fund over the next three years and €7.5bn from the upcoming 2021-27 multiannual financial framework.

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