EU votes to boost climate action in developing countries

27th March 2019

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Edward Warner

The European Parliament has today voted to spend almost half its financial support for developing countries on environmental challenges between 2021 and 2027.

MEPs agreed a spending target of 45% for climate objectives and environmental protection – significantly more than the 25% originally proposed by the European Commission.

And 30% of this will go specifically to mitigating and adapting to climate change, with the parliamentarians also in agreement that the rest of the budget will not be used to fund fossil fuels.

This will contribute heavily to the EU's international commitment to mobilise ‚Ǩ100bn (£0.85bn) every year for developing countries from 2020 under the Paris Agreement.

“The 45% for climate and environment will also support economic modernisation, job creation and improved quality of the environment,“ Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe policy coordinator, Rachel Simon, said.

“Combined with the decision to exclude fossil fuels from support, this is the perfect recipe to allow developing countries to leapfrog straight up the chain of fossil fuels to renewable energy and energy-efficient solutions.“

Today's vote was regarding the Neighbourhood, Development and International Cooperation Instrument (NDICI), which sets out external investments in developing countries under the post-2020 EU budget.

The European Council has still not come to a decision on what the spending target should be, but CAN Europe said the latest vote “gives a strong boost“ to the argument for more climate ambition.

The same spending target, along with the obligation to exclude fossil fuel projects from the fund's financing, will govern the European Fund for Sustainable Development Plus.

Meanwhile, member states such as France and Slovenia are calling for a 50% climate and environment target in their negotiations on external action.

“Maintaining an ambitious climate and environment spending target of 45% will be a litmus test of the EU's climate leadership on the international scene,“ Simon continued.

“The decision to exclude fossil fuels also sends a strong signal to the European Investment Bank, which would be a recipient of funds, and which is currently consulting on its energy lending policy.“

Image credit: iStock


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