European Parliament lacks consistency on EU budget’s climate stance

Financing the transition

The European Parliament reacts to the European Commission’s “Reflection paper on the Future of EU finances”. Tomorrow, delegates will adopt their position on the 2018 EU budget (1).
While the latter calls for the EU budget to become compliant with the Paris Agreement, the first omits any acknowledgement of the future EU budget’s role in tackling climate change.

Today, the European Parliament is to adopt the Committee on Budgets’ motion for a resolution (2) which illustrates its reaction to the European Commission’s Reflection Paper on the Future of EU Finances. The resolution has been brought forward by rapporteurs Jan Olbrycht (EPP) and Isabelle Thomas (S&D), who are also heading up the European Parliament’s position on the EU budget post-2020.

While the resolution positions itself clearly on aspects such as the duration (5+5 years) and volume (1,23% of the EU’s gross national income) of the future EU budget, it has overlooked key principles that need to be included in future EU financing. Specifically, there is little or no reference to the requirements of the Paris Agreement to make EU public finances work for the climate (3).

By contrast, the European Parliament’s position for the 2018 EU budget (4) to be adopted in plenary tomorrow looks set to be more climate-friendly. This position calls for the EU budget to support the objectives of the Paris Agreement and the Union’s own long-term climate goals. It asserts that climate-related actions need to increase, particularly when the EU risks missing the 20% climate spending target of the EU budget (5).

Wendel Trio, Director of Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe, says: “The Paris Agreement is crystal clear when it comes to public finance: we need to shift all public financial flows towards zero-carbon economies. The EU budget must reflect this goal through serving higher climate ambitions and catalyzing the zero-carbon transition. The European Parliament cannot be ambivalent on the EU budget’s climate action potential.”

“The European parliament’s position for the EU budget post-2020 needs to ensure that the next EU budget becomes 100% climate proof.”



Nicolas Derobert, CAN Europe Communications Coordinator,, +32 483 621 888

Notes to editors:

(1) The agenda can be found here

(2) Motion for a resolution can be found here.

(3) Article 2-1 (c) of the Paris Agreement stipulates the requirement to make “finance flows consistent with a pathway towards low greenhouse gas emissions and climate-resilient development”

(4) Report on the Council position on the draft general budget of the European Union for the financial year 2018 can be found here.

(5) Ibid., ‘13. Recalls that the Union budget must support the fulfilment of the objectives of the Paris Agreement and the Union’s own long-term climate goals by achieving the target of 20 % climate spending in the 2014-2020 MFF; regrets that the Commission has failed to put forward concrete and realistic proposals to achieve these goals; therefore proposes increases above the level of the DB for climate-related actions; notes however that these increases are not sufficient and calls on the Commission to present all the necessary proposals to reach the goals in the forthcoming draft budgets’.

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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