Council urgently needs to agree on a climate-friendly EU budget

Financing the transition

Today EU heads of state and government meeting at a European Council had a discussion on the timing, but less on the content of the next long-term EU budget.
In the context of COP24 in Katowice, all Member States must rapidly step up and agree on a budget that is fully in line with the Paris Agreement, with increased spending on climate action, efficient mechanisms to climate-proof expenditures across all funding programmes, and excluding support for fossil fuels.

According to the EU budget negotiating box developed by the Austrian Presidency, Member States consider the European Commission’s proposal for a 25% share of the post-2020 EU budget for climate action as an option, which can be improved or dropped [1]. Ambitious climate action in the EU budget is of vital importance though, if the EU is to support the unprecedented shift in action required to stay below 1.5°C as highlighted by the landmark IPCC special report published in November.

EU leaders now must acknowledge the urgent priority of making all EU spending entirely Paris-compatible. That means a budget that excludes subsidies to fossil fuels, fossil gas in particular from all individual funding programmes, such as in the Cohesion policy and regional development funding, the Connecting Europe Facility, HorizonEurope and InvestEU (ex Juncker plan). The EU Toxic Funding Awards, a mock award to name and shame EU’s worst funding proposals for the period 2021-2027, have revealed that current proposals would permit and even encourage funding for fossil fuels, in particular gas, over most of the next decade.

Wendel Trio, Director of Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe said:
“If the EU is serious with its long-term strategy of becoming climate neutral by 2050, it needs a long-term budget that serves this ambition and stops fueling climate change by giving handouts to polluters.

EU leaders have to acknowledge the need for the bloc’s financial instruments to do more and better on climate change, but they will have to translate this pledge into concrete measures. While 40% of the next EU budget will be necessary to give Europe and particularly its lesser developed regions the chance to rapidly transition towards net-zero emission energy systems, they must ensure not one cent goes to fossil fuels.”



Nicolas Derobert, CAN Europe Communications Coordinator,, +32 483 62 18 88

Note to editors:

[1] See point 20 (page 8) of the negotiating box: “Reflecting the importance of tackling climate change in line with the Union’s commitments to implement the Paris Agreement and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, programmes and instruments should contribute to mainstream climate actions and to the achievement of an overall target of [at least] [25]% of the Union budget expenditures supporting climate objectives. [As a general principle, all EU expenditure should be consistent with Paris Agreement objectives.]

Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe is Europe’s leading NGO coalition fighting dangerous climate change. With over 150 member organisations from 35 European countries, representing over 1.700 NGOs and more than 40 million citizens, CAN Europe promotes sustainable climate, energy and development policies throughout Europe.


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