EU Leaders Slash Climate Funding To Save Coronavirus Recovery Plan
After four days of bitter wrangling, EU leaders have struck a deal on a coronavirus recovery package after they agreed to cut climate funding by more than half.
According to Reuters, the Just Transition Fund (which intends to wean member states of using fossil fuels) will only receive 17.5 billion euros from the EU recovery fund and budget – down from the 37.5 billion euros set aside the original proposal.
The EU’s heads of government agreed on a €750bn package aimed at funding post-pandemic efforts to revive Europe’s economies which are facing mass unemployment and a deep recession.
According to news reports, nearly half of all climate funding from the EU’s 2021-2027 budget will be handed out to farmers.
In recent days, the European Court of Auditors has criticised the European Commission’s accounting tricks of so-called climate funding. It revealed that the Commission substantially overestimated the amount it spent on preventing global warming — by handing out billions of Euros in cash subsidies to farmers, and simply counting these agricultural subsidies as ‘climate funding’.
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Cuts to climate funding were on the menu as European Union leaders sat down to negotiate over dinner, aiming to clinch a deal after four days of summit wrangling over a huge stimulus plan to help rebuild their coronavirus-hit economies.
EU Council President Charles Michel presented a new proposal to the 27 leaders on Monday evening before talks resumed, tabling cuts to climate change schemes as part of a bid to rework the overall package into something all countries could agree to.
The proposal earmarked 30% of both the EU budget and a new 750 billion euro coronavirus recovery fund for climate protection, and said all spending must comply with a principle to “do no harm” to EU green goals.
But it slashed the size of the EU’s Just Transition Fund, its flagship pot of money to help wean countries off fossil fuels.
The Just Transition Fund will now receive a combined 17.5 billion euros from the EU recovery fund and budget – down from the 37.5 billion euros set aside in a previous proposal.