Quarter of EU budget for climate action

1st June 2018

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Sarah Cane

The European Commission plans to increase its climate change spending by 5% to €320bn (£281bn) between 2021 and 2027, with a quarter of the EU’s budget dedicated to climate action.

It said funding levels would need to be increased to support the proposals, admitting that the UK’s departure from the bloc was likely to leave a “sizeable gap” in the budget.

However, the commission highlighted how savings could be made in other areas, proposing that funding for the Common Agricultural Policy and Cohesion Policy both be reduced by 5% after Brexit.

President Jean-Claude Junker, said: “The new budget is an opportunity to shape our future as a new, ambitious union of 27 bound together by solidarity.

“We have put forward a pragmatic plan for how to do more with less. The economic wind in our sails gives us some breathing space but does not shelter us from having to make savings in some areas.”

The commission proposes a budget of €1.279trn for 2021 to 2027, which will include development aid for countries in Africa, the Caribbean and Pacific.

Around €5.4bn of this will go towards developing ways to respond to climate challenges, while €97.6bn will be used to drive economic growth that supports a transition to a low-carbon economy.

The Cohesion Policy will have an overall budget of €273bn, supporting sustainable development through investments in climate change adaptation and risk prevention.

It is also hoped that a “modernised” Common Agricultural Policy will place greater emphasis on the environment and climate, with new objectives enforced through improved rules.

For example, all farmers receiving area payments will have to comply with a range of requirements related to climate change, water, soil, biodiversity and landscapes.

However, Climate Action Network finance and subsidies policy coordinator, Markus Trilling, said that the proposed increase in climate change spending does not go far enough.

“The post-2020 EU budget must spend at least 40% on the decarbonisation of energy, industry and mobility systems, and ensure not one cent will benefit fossil fuel-related activities and infrastructure,” he added.

Image credit: Shutterstock


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