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European Union leaders agreed on Tuesday to allocate more than US$572 billion (500 billion euro), or 30 percent of the massive stimulus package, for investments in policies to fight climate change in the largest green stimulus package which, however, fell short of expectations.
Following marathon talks for five days, the EU leaders agreed to an overall amount for commitments of US$1.23 trillion (1.074 trillion euro) to support the EU’s recovery for the next seven years through 2027. The EU set an overall climate target of 30 percent that will apply to climate protection and investment in green policies.
This means that as much as US$572 billion could be spent on climate in the period through 2027, but this spending is far below what analysts see as investment necessary to reach the EU climate goal to become carbon neutral by 2050, as Reuters notes.
Investments “shall comply with the objective of EU climate neutrality by 2050 and contribute to achieving the Union’s new 2030 climate targets, which will be updated by the end of the year. As a general principle, all EU expenditure should be consistent with Paris Agreement objectives,” the EU said.
Under the EU’s Green Deal, the EU pledged at the end of last year to support investments in sustainable businesses, technologies, and solutions and in greener energy and electricity generation. The Deal also includes a so-called Just Transition Fund to support with money packages regions and/or countries heavily reliant on coal.
“In order to address the social and economic consequences of the objective of reaching climate neutrality by 2050 and the Union’s new 2030 climate target, a Just Transition Mechanism, including a Just Transition Fund, will be created,” the EU said today.
Commenting on the deal, green group Transport & Environment (T&E) said:
“No one can deny the historic value of the recovery plan agreed by EU leaders today. But despite a welcome reference to the Paris Agreement and climate neutrality, the plan lacks basic climate safeguards such as a blanket exclusion of fossil fuels. Just 30% of overall spending will be towards achieving the EU’s climate goals.”
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