Posted on 16 June 2020
The European Commission’s proposal seems to leave back doors open for unsustainable investments
EU heads of state and government are meeting virtually on 19 June. They will discuss the economic recovery package proposed by the European Commission on 27 May.
The package consists of a revised EU budget (MFF) proposal that includes additional recovery funds, with an overall value of 1.85 trillion EUR.
Why does it matter?
The European Commission’s proposal paid lip-service to a just and sustainable recovery, but lacked a lot of the measures that would bring one about. Many key elements including the role of nature were missing, and back doors seemed to be left open for unsustainable investments. It is therefore crucial that EU leaders fix the package so it helps rebuild a better, fairer, sustainable European economy.
What does WWF want to see?
- A minimum environment and climate spending target
in the whole package that is significantly higher than the current 25%, aiming for 50%. The spending should be tracked using the EU taxonomy, which identifies sustainable activities.
‘do no harm’ principle
applied to the entire package, meaning Member States cannot invest in gas or other fossil fuels, nor in unsustainable activities such as new airports and motorways.
Full consistency with EU environmental targets
(including the soon-to-be increased 2030 climate target) and national plans (National Energy and Climate Plans, territorial Just Transition Plans, Operational Programmes).
- Access to the proposed ‘Recovery and resilience facility’
- that is, EU funds for countries’ national recovery plans - should comply with the above requirements.
Ester Asin, Director of WWF European Policy Office
“Huge numbers of citizens
want a green, socially just Europe to emerge from this crisis. So now their leaders must ensure they get one. What’s on the table will allow polluters to carry on as usual, funded by public money. This is unacceptable. EU leaders must inject sustainability into the heart of our recovery. They must require significant green spending and close the door on fossil fuels and other harmful sectors which are incompatible with our climate and environmental goals.”
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