Climate considerations have made their way into the debate on the reform of the EU’s economic governance. Meanwhile, scrutiny has been exercised with members to ensure EU funds are programmed through participatory processes and  genuinely support climate action.

“In the climate movement, we believe that the reform of the EU fiscal rules is a significant opportunity to better ensure debt sustainability while encouraging public spending in the just and green transition. Governments must tax wealth, stop greenwashing, and end fossil fuel subsidies. But let’s say it loud and clear: If we don’t also change the EU fiscal rules on debt and deficit, we can’t win the battle against climate change.”  Isabelle Brachet, Fiscal Reform Policy Coordinator on Euractiv

CAN Europe and its member organisations advocated for increased climate action in EU spending plans. The team focused on scrutinising the use of both cohesion policy and recovery funds for climate action, with the objective of highlighting positive examples as well as climate-harmful investments and reforms to influence the debates and future legislation.

Keeping in mind that maximising the potential of existing funds for climate action is crucial, CAN Europe was equally aware that the “climate spending gap” remained large, and the risk of seeing austerity return high. This is why we were intensely advocating for a progressive EU fiscal framework that incentivises Member States to invest more in climate action while phasing out fossil fuel subsidies at national level.

Delivering a just transition, the “Fit for 55” package and ambitious ‘REPowerEU’ targets will require more resources from Member States, along with an alignment of their existing expenditures with climate, biodiversity and circular economy targets.