EU Recovery Fund Ignores Climate Targets, Experts Say

  • Date: 22/06/20
  • EurActiv

Calculations by experts now show that the EU’s planned economic rescue package, worth €750 billion, is nowhere near enough to achieve the bloc’s climate targets. Even in the best-case scenario, only one-third of the costs would be covered.

Commission President Ursula Von Der Leyen confers with the President of the EU Council, Charles Michel. Member states have yet to agree on the proposed €750 billion recovery fund. [EPA-EFE | Olivier Hoslet]

 EU leaders discussed a massive €750 billion rescue package on Friday (19 June), which should be made available to member states to help them revive the economy and achieve the EU’s climate goals.

However, as an unpublished analysis by the consultancy Climate & Company and the German think tank Agora Energiewende shows, the programme has huge gaps: some 2.44 trillion are missing to mobilise the necessary investments to achieve the EU climate targets.

At present, the targets stipulate that the EU must reduce its CO2 emissions by 40% by 2030 compared to 1990. If the target is raised to 50% or 55% as planned, the investment requirement would even rise to over €3 trillion.

The analysts’ calculations are based in part on the Commission’s estimates on how much money would be needed to achieve the current climate target.

If the proposed funds from the new EU budget and the reconstruction programme were spent in the best possible way, only €804 billion would be collected, around a third of what is needed, leaving a  €1.644 trillion investment gap.

The study lists possible funding sources. Only €80 billion have so far been safely allocated to environmental protection. Most of this money comes from the Just Transition Fund, the Connecting Europe Facility, or the Innovation Fund, which has now been massively increased.

That’s nowhere near enough money, but with the right parameters, almost half of the necessary budget could be raised. A precondition would be that 40% of the EU budget would be reserved for climate protection. The Commission’s current proposal is 20%.

If the money from the CAP and the recovery plan were to be invested in a climate-friendly manner, a budget of €1.287 trillion could be pulled together with the help of European Investment Bank (EIB) loans.

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