EU ministers should ‘climate proof’ 2021-2027 budget

10 Oct 18

The European bloc should “climate proof” the whole of the next EU budget, cutting out all projects that are not in line with the Paris Agreement, an open letter to ministers on an EU council has urged.

Ahead of the General Affairs Council meeting next week, 101 organisations, including think tanks, civil society and local authorities, have called on ministers to ensure the 2021-2027 budget enables the transition to zero emission, as outlined in the Paris Agreement and the UN’s development goals.

In the letter, the organisations have called on the EU affairs ministers on the council – which ensures consistency throughout the union, and looks after policy areas, such as the budget - to increase climate action to at least 40% of spending and to “climate proof the entire EU budget”.

This includes cutting spending on projects that are not aligned with the global agendas, such as fossil fuel infrastructure and environmentally harmful subsidies.

The letter comes as an IPCC special report on the impact of global warming has highlighted that the world is completely off track on keeping the temperature rise under 1.5 degrees C.

Scientists warned in the report that it was the final call to halt the changing climate. 

The letter said the report highlighted that there is science, technology and money available to make a difference but political will is lacking.

Wendel Trio, director of CAN Europe, one of the signatories, said: “The sooner and the more we invest in the clean energy transition, the better for citizens and our economies.

“Forty per cent of the future EU budget needs to benefit zero-carbon projects and not 1% should go to fossil fuels, gas included.

“This is the only way European public finance can help the world keep temperature rise to 1.5°C by the middle of this century.”

The co-chair of the IPCC Jim Skea said on Monday, when the report was published, that to limit warming to 1.5 degrees there needs to be changes to energy systems, to the way land is managed, and to reduce transport emissions.  

The letter said that since the EU budget funds programmes for energy, transport, agriculture, buildings, waste and international cooperation, it has “great potential” to support action on climate change.

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