EU Embroiled In €24 Billion Bogus Climate Accounting Scandal

  • Date: 16/07/20
  • Daily Express

Brussels has been dragged into a bogus accounting scandal after it was claimed climate change spending had been overblown by at least €24 billion.

Ursula von der Leyen’s EU Commission has overestimated spending, says report (Image: GETTY)

The European Court of Auditors has questioned the European Commission’s claims about its climate-change programmes. It was found the European Union’s powerful executive had substantially overestimated the amount it spent on preventing global warming though the use of clever-accounting. Farmers have been handed cash subsidies which have been counted as agriculture-based spending aimed at climate protection by the Commission.

Eurocrats pass off their subsistence payments to farmers as climate spending, as long as the farmers fulfil a certain level of climate standards.

The ECA said in its report the Commission had overstated the current 2014-2020 budget’s contribution to tackling climate change.

They warned the same was likely to be true for the next seven-year cycle.

The auditors said:

Our analysis of Member State rural development programmes in the same report showed that the Commission was overestimating their contribution to climate action by more than 40 percent, or almost €24billion.

This is because the Commission did not adequately distinguish between climate contributions made by different activities.

The Commission justified this approach by the need to strike a balance between minimising the administrative burden and costs and providing a reasonably reliable estimate for climate-related spending within the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development.”

ECA auditor Joelle Elvinger called on the Commission to develop more robust methods for tracking its spending.

She said:

The anticipated contributions to climate-related spending, in particular from some agricultural schemes, are likely to be overstated.

“Without a robust methodology, the estimated climate spending may not be reliable.”

Agriculture spending is expected to make up nearly half of the climate spending from the bloc’s 2021-2027 budget, which has been muted at a total of €1.075trillion.

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