The European Commission has revealed its long-awaited proposal to relaunch the European economy hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite repeated commitments by the European Commission to make the European Green Deal the blueprint of the recovery, the proposal still allows for money to be spent on supporting fossil fuels and is lifting climate spending targets in regional development funding, while the climate emergency would need a rapid phase-out of these polluting fuels and strong climate earmarking.
This week the Commission is expected to reveal an ‘EU recovery package’ worth hundreds of billion euros, including a revamped EU budget proposal and additional funds to relaunch the economy. This a unique opportunity to invest in more resilient and sustainable economies in line with the European Green Deal and the transition towards climate neutrality.
The European Commission has published its biodiversity and “Farm to fork” strategies, two important pillars of its European Green Deal. Together with enhanced climate action, biodiversity restoration and the promotion of sustainable farming practices are key to reaching the goals of the Paris Agreement and building more resilient and sustainable economies in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Poland's largest oil refiner, PKN Orlen, declared its preliminary readiness for direct financial involvement in the construction of the 1GW Ostroleka-C coal power project only if it is converted into a gas unit(1). The announcement by PKN Orlen, which only last month acquired EnergaSa - one of the companies behind the Ostroleka C projecr(2), means that Poland's troubled new coal project will not come to life. However, smart money is on renewables, not fossil gas.
The European Parliament adopted a resolution urging the Commission to make its upcoming COVID-19 economic recovery proposal fit for the European Green Deal and the Paris Agreement goals. This echoes the Commission chief’s recent address to MEPs that the crisis exit should not return to yesterday’s economy, but invest in a clean, modern, and healthy economy.
Over one million people and 100 environmental NGOs across Europe are calling on the European Union to restart its economy by launching the biggest green investment plan the world has ever seen, financed by the bloc’s increased budget and recovery instrument. Tomorrow [Friday], MEPs will decide what they want in the EU’s Recovery Fund and seven-year budget ahead of the European Commission’s much awaited proposal next week.
The European Commission is expected to present a revised long-term EU budget for the period 2021- 2027 to address the economic shock caused by COVID-19. In a moment when the EU faces a recession of historic proportions, the next EU budget and investments to be made in the next 7 years become crucial to tackle both the climate and economic crises. The new briefing published by Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe underlines the importance of aligning Europe’s long term strategies to fight the climate crisis with the proposed financial measures.
Frans Timmermans, Vice president of the European Commission for the European Green Deal said that the Commission will only assess the emissions reduction target to 50 – 55% by 2030, during his presentation at the European Parliament’s Industry, Research and Energy Committee.
The European Commission is working on a revision of the next long-term EU budget to address the economic shock caused by COVID-19. Expected are an overall increase for existing instruments, and proposals for new funds and potentially new sources of income.
But the costs of worsening climate change to people and economies will be worryingly high if the EU budget continues investing in carbon-, resource-intensive and environmentally damaging projects. Instead, the recovery programme must aim at climate neutrality to preserve Europeans from more harmful disruptions.
Europe’s energy infrastructure planning must move away from supporting fossil fuels and lay down rules for fully integrating energy efficiency and 100% renewables supply. It has to look at the entire range of energy solutions, on independent and evidence-based assumptions to be aligned with the EU’s climate and energy objectives, and relevant nature legislation, say environmental and climate NGOs in a joint letter sent to the European Commission.