Monday, March 19, 2018

14 EU environment ministers push for climate spending in next budget

The European Union should spend no less than 20 per cent of its future budget on combating climate change and all spending in general must be in line with the bloc’s climate targets, 14 EU environment ministers said in a letter to the European Commission.

The letter came as the commission is set to present its proposal for the post-2020 long-term EU budget in May.

The proposal will be the basis of budget negotiations among EU member states and later with the European Parliament.

The ministers urged the commission to maintain the current level of spending with no less than 20 per cent of the bloc’s budget earmarked for climate-related projects and investment.

They called for a monitoring mechanism to verify the impact of the investments, noting that in the current budget, implementation of the 20-per-cent spending goal is likely to fall short with climate spending forecast to reach only 18.9 per cent.

The ministers also stressed that no part of the EU budget as a whole should have “detrimental impacts” on the bloc’s ability to reach its climate goals under the 2015 Paris Agreement.

“New investments should be compatible with a transition to the required greenhouse gas emission reduction in our economy in order to avoid stranded assets in the long term,’’ they wrote.

The letter was signed by the environment ministers of Germany, Denmark, Finland, Luxembourg, Portugal, Belgium, Netherlands, Sweden, Slovenia, Britain, Italy, Spain, France and Austria.