EU Parliament reverses course, votes for strong action on climate with future funds for Europe’s needy regions

A vote today by the Parliament has excluded fossil fuels from the EUR 320 billion European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and Cohesion Funds for 2021-2027, signalling a clear commitment to the EU’s obligations to reduce greenhouse gases under the Paris Agreement and its net-zero emissions Long Term Strategy.

Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe and CEE Bankwatch Network have welcomed the outcome of the plenary sitting in Strasbourg, calling the result great news for the EU and its regions and an acknowledgement of the need for a rapid and comprehensive shift in Europe’s investment landscape.

The vote reverts back to the initial proposal from the European Commission on the ERDF from May 2018 that prohibited funding for projects with heavy environmental impacts like fossil fuels.

The outcome solidifies the final negotiating position of the Parliament that it will use in discussions with the European Council and Commission when the parties begin the so-called trialogues in October, and indicates a readiness for Europe to continue a progressive approach to climate finance.

Raphael Hanoteaux, EU policy officer with CEE Bankwatch Network, said:
“The Parliament understands that business as usual is no longer an option, and fossil fuels have no place in the future of Europe’s financing. This vote sets a clear direction for a clean and sustainable Cohesion policy that will bring certainty to managing authorities, investors, and local stakeholders as they plan projects for Europe’s energy transformation.”

Markus Trilling, Finance and Subsidies Policy Coordinator at Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe, said:
“Today’s vote is a good result for citizens and the economy. Investing in renewable energy and energy savings instead of financing fossil fuels will trigger the transition needed to modernise Europe’s regions and will help meet the EU’s climate objectives.”

ENDS

Contact:
Nicolas Derobert, CAN Europe Communications Coordinator, nicolas@caneurope.org, +32 483 62 18 88

Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe is Europe's leading NGO coalition fighting dangerous climate change. With over 150 member organisations from 35 European countries, representing over 1.700 NGOs and more than 40 million citizens, CAN Europe promotes sustainable climate, energy and development policies throughout Europe.

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