EU budget review must enhance European climate action

Financing the transition

The European Commission must listen to the European Parliament calling for an EU budget that works for people and the planet – according to CEE Bankwatch Network, Friends of the Earth Europe and Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe.

The demand follows the adoption of a report by the European Parliament on the EU budget today, that will inform the European Commission’s review of the current 2014-2020 EU budgetary period. In light of the Paris Agreement, the European budget must tackle the causes and impacts of climate change. This includes full integration of climate action across the budget – so-called climate action mainstreaming. It also includes increasing the current 20 percent climate action target of the EU budget to at least 30 percent, and a phase out of fossil fuel subsidies or spending on fossil fuel infrastructure, according to the organisations.

Markus Trilling, EU Policy Officer at CEE Bankwatch Network and Friends of the Earth Europe, said: “The European Parliament asks to bring the EU budget in line with the Paris Agreement. This would mean an immediate end to funding for fossil fuels and a greater imperative to tackle the climate crisis. It would also mean that measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions are integrated into all investment decisions in Europe – incentivising the smaller scale, decentralised and community-owned sustainable solutions we need”.

“More than ever, not least in the wake of the results of the Brexit referendum, the benefits of EU spending for European citizens must be made clear. Using EU funds as blanket financial support for government budgets has not worked. We need an EU budget that works for people and planet, which means including essential EU objectives like the ‘circular economy’ and which supports clean energy investment plans that are expanding sustainable energy in Member states.”

Wendel Trio, Director of Climate Action Network Europe added: “The Paris Agreement explicitly states that our governments need to change how money is spent so that it enhances climate action, not hinders it. The review of the EU’s budget is an ideal moment to scale up funding for climate action. Aligning the EU’s budgetary spending with the Paris Agreement is an opportunity not to be missed, if the EU wants to be a front-running investor in the transition towards a zero emissions economy.”



Caroline Westblom, CAN Europe Communications Officer,,
+32 484 566 239
Wendel Trio, CAN Europe Director,, +32 473 170 887

Markus Trilling, EU Policy Officer, CEE Bankwatch Network & Friends of the Earth Europe,, +32 484 056 636, Twitter: @SustEUfunds

Notes to editors

REPORT on the preparation of the post-electoral revision of the MFF 2014-2020: Parliament’s input ahead of the Commission’s proposal,(2015/2353(INI): Follow up of the international agreements on environmental changes

60. Notes that the COP 21 agreement reached in Paris is a universal, dynamic and differentiated agreement aimed at facing the challenge of climate change; underlines that, under this agreement, EU funding needs to be allocated for supporting climate action in developing countries; stresses that any funding for the possible measures originating from COP 21 should be additional to the current spending on climate actions, and calls on the Commission to present its implementation strategy and first evaluation of the possible impact of the COP 21 agreement on the EU budget in due time for the revision; underlines, moreover, that the revision of the MFF creates an excellent opportunity to ensure that the 20 % target of spending on climate-related actions is reached and to provide for a possible increase of this threshold in line with the EU’s international commitments taken during the COP 21; calls on the Commission to ensure that the mechanism of climate action mainstreaming is fully operationalised and that the current method of tracking of such spending is improved; recalls, furthermore, that the EU is also committed to implement the United Nations convention’s Strategic Plan for Biodiversity, and underlines that it should dedicate sufficient resources to fulfil its commitments in that respect;

In its opinion to the above report, the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety calls on the Commission to:

3. Calls on the Commission to ensure that Union financial resources contain neither subsidies that are harmful to the climate or lock in fossil fuel infrastructure or support activities which damage ecosystems and biodiversity nor fossil fuel subsidies; also calls on the Commission to introduce an effective method of tracking biodiversity spending in the Union budget

Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe is Europe’s largest coalition working on climate and energy issues. With over 130 member organisations in more than 30 European countries – representing over 44 million citizens – CAN Europe works to prevent dangerous climate change and promote sustainable climate and energy policy in Europe. Follow CAN Europe on Facebook and on Twitter

For regular updates follow CEE Bankwatch Network on Facebook and on Twitter.


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