Future Cohesion Policy: Priority for the green and fair transition

Financing the transition

The European Commission published today its legislative proposals on Cohesion Policy post 2020 (1). The draft regulations recognise the low-carbon energy transition as an important objective that Cohesion Policy should serve.

Cohesion Policy is the EU budget’s second largest single investment tool after the Common Agricultural Policy, representing 273 billion euros for the period 2021-2027. The level of climate action spending under this programme is therefore crucial to meet the European Commission’s recent commitment to dedicate 25% of the overall future EU budget to climate action (2).

The proposed 30% (respectively 25% for most developed member states) earmarking for the “clean and fair energy transition to a greener low-carbon Europe” in Cohesion Policy is close to its fair share on the overall 25% climate action target set out in the EU budget proposal. But still, at least 40% of regional development and cohesion funds should be dedicated to climate action in order to reach the monetary equivalent of 25% of the entire EU budget for climate action, the total of 320 billion euros promised (3).

Markus Trilling, finance and subsidies policy coordinator at Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe, said: “The European Commission acknowledges the transformative potential of Regional Development funding to catalyse the fair transition towards a green and low-carbon Europe. Now it needs to set ambitious climate action targets for the other spending programmes.”

“InvestEU and Connecting Europe Facility, the big EU infrastructure investment funds, now have to follow suit and allocate at least 60% towards climate action.”



Nicolas Derobert, CAN Europe Communications Coordinator, nicolas@caneurope.org, +32 483 62 18 88

Notes to editors:

(1) The draft regulations on the European Regional Development Fund and on the Cohesion Fund is one part of the Commission’s overall package on the next long-term EU budget (also called Multiannual Financial Framework), and it sets out conditions for funds that implement the EU’s Cohesion Policy. You can find them here.

(2) Read our press release “Proposed future EU budget embraces increased climate action” published on 2 May here.

(3) Read our climate mainstreaming scenarios (Long-term EU budget 2021-2027) here.

Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe is Europe’s largest coalition working on climate and energy issues. With over 150 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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