EU Summit: No axe for climate spending, but member states must deliver
Brussels, February 8 – A summit in Brussels on the EU budget for 2014-2020 concluded today with an unambitious commitment for 20 percent of EU spending to go towards tackling climate change. CEE Bankwatch Network and Friends of the Earth Europe called on member states’ governments to build on this with national spending plans that ensure quality outcomes that work for Europe’s people and environment.
8 February 2013
Brussels, February 8 – A summit in Brussels on the EU budget for 2014-2020 concluded today with an unambitious commitment for 20 percent of EU spending to go towards tackling climate change. CEE Bankwatch Network and Friends of the Earth Europe called on member states’ governments to build on this with national spending plans that ensure quality outcomes that work for Europe’s people and environment. 
The final deal agreed by the European Council sees a EUR 959 billion budget for the next seven years. This represents a reduction of EUR 89 billion from the European Commission’s initial proposal, and is EUR 16 billion below the current 2007-2013 budgetary period total. The 20 percent climate action figure was also proposed by the European Commission.
Markus Trilling, EU Funds coordinator for CEE Bankwatch Network and Friends of the Earth Europe, said: “What we are seeing is peanuts for climate, with disappointing cuts likely to the environmental investment fund Life, as well as the Connecting Europe Facility. This will likely reduce investments into necessary green energy infrastructure such as smart grids.
“However, there is a lot still to play for. Member states need to put quality at the heart of their spending plans for 2014-2020, to open the door for investments into energy savings and renewables, green innovation, resource efficiency and sustainable transport. Quality spending at the national level can bring environmental and economic benefits and help bring Europe out of crisis.”
Trilling also warned about using EU budget money to support the fossil fuels sector: “Member states must avoid damaging spending, including subsidies for fossil fuels, in their national-level spending plans. Investments into gas infrastructure promote fossil fuel use and will simply lock European economies into carbon dependency for decades to come.”
For more information, contact:
EU funds campaign coordinator
CEE Bankwatch Network/Friends of the Earth Europe
Tel: +32 (0) 484 056 636
E-mail: markus.trilling at foeeurope.org
Communications officer, Friends of the Earth Europe (EN)
Tel: +32 (0) 2893 1012
E-mail: samuel.fleet at foeeurope.org
Notes for editors:
1. The relevant text from the final EU budget 2014-2020 agreement reads:
“Climate action objectives will represent at least 20% of EU spending in the period 2014-2020 and therefore be reflected in the appropriate instruments to ensure that they contribute to strengthen energy security, building a low-carbon, resource efficient and climate resilient economy that will enhance Europe’s competitiveness and create more and greener jobs.” (Paragraph 10)
Visit http://www.wellspent.eu to see how European projects funded by Cohesion Policy are working for the environment, society and the economy.
Never miss an update
We expose the risks of international public finance and bring critical updates from the ground – straight to your inbox.