Question marks raised over scale of EU’s new climate fund

(EurActiv, 14 Jan 2020) The European Commission finally lifted the lid on its long-awaited just transition plans on Tuesday (14 January) but doubts have already been raised over the amount of funding on offer for the next decade compared to the bloc’s Green Deal ambitions.

At the first European Parliament Strasbourg plenary session of the year, EU climate chief Frans Timmermans introduced the so-called Just Transition Mechanism as a “pledge of solidarity and fairness”, to help Europe go green.

The Dutch Commissioner said the proposal is “a message to coal miners, peat farmers and oil shale workers”. EU diplomats had previously feared that the proposal would end up as a de facto coal phase-out fund.

According to the details of the new proposal, carbon-intensive regions and industries will be able to apply for money, opening the door for producers of steel and even plastics to access funding.

“The prospect of a cleaner future may look good to most but the road to it may look daunting,” Timmermans said, praising the Parliament for proposing the idea. He also called on the Council to make time for it and swiftly adopt a decision on the new overall budget.

Siegfried Muresan, a senior lawmaker from the centre-right European People’s Party (EPP), called on his colleagues to come to an agreement on the Fund in the first half of the year, in order to help bolster the talks on the EU’s long-term budget, which are now being helmed by Council President Charles Michel.

External link

EurActiv, 14 Jan 2020: Question marks raised over scale of EU’s new climate fund