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EU summit: No axe for climate spending, but member states must deliver.
 09.02.2013 21:26:06
EU summit No axe for climate spending but member states must deliver

A summit in Brussels on the EU budget for 2014-2020 concluded today with an unambitious commitment for 20 percent of EU spending to go towards tackling climate change. CEE Bankwatch Network and Friends of the Earth Europe called on member states' governments to build on this with national spending plans that ensure quality outcomes that work for Europe's people and environment.

The final deal agreed by the European Council sees a 959 billion budget for the next seven years. This represents a reduction of 89 billion from the European Commission's initial proposal, and is 16 billion below the current 20072013 budgetary period total. The 20 percent climate action figure was also proposed by the European Commission.

Markus Trilling, EU Funds coordinator for CEE Bankwatch Network and Friends of the Earth Europe, said: "What we are seeing is peanuts for climate, with disappointing cuts likely to the environmental investment fund Life, as well as the Connecting Europe Facility. This will likely reduce investments into necessary green energy infrastructure such as smart grids.

"However, there is a lot still to play for. Member states need to put quality at the heart of their spending plans for 20142020, to open the door for investments into energy savings and renewables, green innovation, resource efficiency and sustainable transport. Quality spending at the national level can bring environmental and economic benefits and help bring Europe out of crisis."

Trilling also warned about using EU budget money to support the fossil fuels sector: "Member states must avoid damaging spending, including subsidies for fossil fuels, in their national-level spending plans. Investments into gas infrastructure promote fossil fuel use and will simply lock European economies into carbon dependency for decades to come."

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Notes:

1. The relevant text from the final EU budget 20142020 agreement reads:

"Climate action objectives will represent at least 20% of EU spending in the period 2014-2020 and therefore be reflected in the appropriate instruments to ensure that they contribute to strengthen energy security , building a low-carbon, resource efficient and climate resilient economy that will enhance Europe's competitiveness and create more and greener jobs." (Paragraph 10)

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