European Climate Action Must Be Addressed by EU Budget Review

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European Commission by Sébastien Bertrand via Flickr

Friends of the Earth Europe, CEE Bankwatch Network and Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe have demanded that the European Commission lists to the European Parliament calling for an EU budget that supports both people and the planet.

The demand follows the adoption of a report by the European Parliament on the EU budget today, that will inform the European Commission’s review of the current 2014-2020 EU budgetary period. In light of the Paris Agreement, the European budget must tackle the causes and impacts of climate change. This includes full integration of climate action across the budget – so-called climate action mainstreaming. It also includes increasing the current 20 percent climate action target of the EU budget to at least 30 percent, and a phase out of fossil fuel subsidies or spending on fossil fuel infrastructure, according to the organisations.

Markus Trilling, EU Policy Officer at CEE Bankwatch Network and Friends of the Earth Europe, said: “The European Parliament asks to bring the EU budget in line with the Paris Agreement. This would mean an immediate end to funding for fossil fuels and a greater imperative to tackle the climate crisis. It would also mean that measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions are integrated into all investment decisions in Europe – incentivising the smaller scale, decentralised and community-owned sustainable solutions we need”.

More than ever, not least in the wake of the results of the Brexit referendum, the benefits of EU spending for European citizens must be made clear.

“Using EU funds as blanket financial support for government budgets has not worked. We need an EU budget that works for people and planet, which means including essential EU objectives like the ‘circular economy’ and which supports clean energy investment plans that are expanding sustainable energy in Member states.”

Wendel Trio, Director of Climate Action Network Europe added: “The Paris Agreement explicitly states that our governments need to change how money is spent so that it enhances climate action, not hinders it. The review of the EU’s budget is an ideal moment to scale up funding for climate action. Aligning the EU’s budgetary spending with the Paris Agreement is an opportunity not to be missed, if the EU wants to be a front-running investor in the transition towards a zero emissions economy.”