EU ministers mute on climate-friendly cohesion policy

Financing the transition

During a Council meeting on General Affairs today (1), EU ministers exchanged their views on the spending priorities of the Cohesion Policy after 2020, the EU’s key funding instrument for infrastructure projects all over Europe.

Today’s meeting and its accompanying conclusion (2) focused on the administrative aspects of the EU’s Regional Development funding, rather than the key principles that EU funding can deliver, such as enhancing the clean energy transition.

Markus Trilling, finance and subsidies policy coordinator at Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe, said: “Member States are putting the cart before the horse by prioritizing the quick dispersion of EU funds over the quality of investments and EU added value. At the same time, they are ignoring the big potential EU cohesion policy funding has to catalyze the just and clean energy transition in Europe’s less developed regions.” (3)

“The EU’s Cohesion Policy falls under a provision of the Paris Agreement that financial flows have to be re-directed towards protecting the climate. That means for the Regional Development funding after 2020 to put at least 40% into the decarbonization of energy, industry and mobility systems and to ensure EU funds deliver on ambitious 2030 climate and energy targets. ”


Notes to editors:

(1) You can access the provisional agenda of the General Affairs council here.

(2) You can access the General Affairs council conclusion here.

(3) On average only 7% of all Cohesion Policy funding from 2014 to 2020 is allocated towards Energy Efficiency, Renewable Energy and SMART electric projects.


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

Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe is Europe’s largest coalition working on climate and energy issues. With over 140 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.


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