Federal Environment Minister Barbara Hendricks and 13 other EU environment and climate ministers are pushing to make the next EU budget climate-friendly. The 14 ministers are members of the Green Growth Group, which published a joint letter to the EU Commission on the topic today. Federal Environment Minister Barbara Hendricks notes: "Climate action depends on steering investments in the right direction. The EU budget has to set an example here. Subsidies that are not in line with the Paris Agreement should be discontinued as quickly as possible."
In their statement, the ministers emphasise the fact that, alongside private investment, public financing plays a key role in achieving the EU’s medium and long-term climate and energy targets. Currently, estimates reflect an annual investment shortfall in the EU of 180 billion euros between 2021 and 2030 for achieving these targets. EU funding structures must be reshaped so that they contribute substantially to reaching the targets.
Since 2013, the EU budget has had what is called a climate quota, which requires at least 20 percent of the EU budget to be invested in climate projects and programmes. Almost all budget areas of the EU are included in this. In the statement, the ministers endorse continuing the quota and spending at least 20 percent of the next EU budget on climate action. The implementation of the quota should, however, be more transparent and results-oriented in future. In addition, investments in sustainable infrastructure, agriculture, regional development and climate innovation should be stepped up. The part of the EU budget not explicitly allocated for the climate – currently 80 percent of the budget – should not have detrimental impacts on climate goals.
At the beginning of May 2018, the EU Commission is expected to unveil its legislative proposal for the next multiannual financial framework. The current EU budget was established for a seven-year period, 2013 to 2020.
The statement signatories are members of the Green Growth Group, which is committed to ambitious climate and energy policy in the EU. In addition to Minister Hendricks, ministers from the UK, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Luxembourg, Portugal, Slovenia, Italy, Spain and Austria have signed the statement. Additional signatures may be added.