In the sectors which Bankwatch’s work focuses on, EU funding priorities are not ambitious enough to “limit climate change and its effects”, a target laid out in the EU’s sustainable development goals and the Europe 2020 strategy, the EU’s strategic road map for the decade.
EU funding in the energy sector contradicts the target to “limit climate change and its effects” as laid out in the EU’s own sustainable development goals:
- At EU level, marginal funding has yet been set aside for energy saving measures and the development of renewable energy sources.
- Even the small amounts that member states designate for clean energy projects are hardly being deployed.
EU funds should drive the transition from fossil fuels to a de-carbonised and eco-efficient economy:
- EU funds need to aim at retrofitting, renovating and refurbishing of current high energy consumption installations, especially in the housing sector and district heating systems.
- In addition the establishing of appropriate smart energy infrastructure needs to be engineered in order to allow the uptake of renewable energy sources and to support the regionalisation of consumption and generation circuits.
Read more …
… on EU funds’ shortcomings in our study
Potential unfulfilled – EU funding and Cohesion policy can do more for sustainable climate and energy development in central and eastern Europe (pdf).
… concrete suggestion in our working paper
Funding instruments for energy efficiency and renewable (pdf).
The transport sector contributes with 13,5% to global greenhouse gas emissions. Decarbonising this sector is a crucial step to avoid dangerous climate change.
22% (75.8bn EUR) of the total Cohesion Policy budget is dedicated to transport infrastructure. These amounts could help significantly improving the often desolate public transport sectors in the region. However:
- The EU’s roadmap for the transport sector is far too vague and delays action to reduce greenhouse gases (GHG) until 2030.
- Member states, specifically in central and eastern Europe (CEE), do not show any ambition to decrease the level of GHG emissions by increasing rail and public transport. CEE countries spend twice as much EU funds on roads as on railways, while funding for public urban transport is marginal and air traffic still receives support.
- The EU’s transport policy should define clear and immediate actions.
- Transport decarbonisation needs to be prioritised in the next EU funds programming period (2014-2020).
- Funds from the current EU funds period have to be put to more sustainable use by member states. Bankwatch is closely monitoring the implementation of Transport Operational Programmes at national level.
- In order to support the transformation of urban transport systems, Cohesion policy should focus on supporting integrated traffic management solutions that would prefer sustainable modes of urban transport and reduce the individual car traffic, especially within densely built-in and populated areas.
Read more …
… on the current programming period, see our analysis Potential unfulfilled (pdf).
… on how to reform the EU budget and EU funds: Changing Perspectives – How the EU Budget can Shape a Sustainable Future (pdf) (pages 33 onwards cover the transport sector)
… on the Trans-European Transport Networks in Europe (TEN-T), see our comments to the TEN-T policy (pdf).
The global pressure on resources is inexorably increasing. The EU does so far not use its potential to substantially reduce its resource use.
Most notably, cohesion policy still privileges waste incineration investments instead of improving waste prevention and management. This is particularly the case in CEE countries.
Positively, the European Commission included several of Bankwatch’s suggestions into its flagship initiative for a resource efficient Europe which aims at making ‘the EU a ‘circular economy’ based on a recycling society’. Bankwatch will closely monitor the flagship’s implementation in the EU funds framework.
- The provision of public funds for waste management should prioritise solutions according to the waste hierarchy, with prevention of waste production, reuse of waste, separate collection, recycling and composting.
- EU Cohesion Policy has to support the implementation of EU objectives, its preference for incineration investments must be halted and instead promote already widespread non-incineration waste prevention and management methods.
Read more …
… on our position in our reaction and further suggestions (pdf) to the EC’s resource efficiency flagship initiative.