Future EU infrastructure funds not in line with Paris Agreement

Financing the transition

The European Commission published today its legislative proposals on EU’s main infrastructure investment funds for the period after 2020: InvestEU and Connecting Europe Facility (1). The regulations recognise the low-carbon energy transition as an important objective, but miss out on fundamental pillars for success: ensuring sufficient climate action funding and excluding all fossil fuels from EU funds.

As the EU’s main instruments to leverage private investment, InvestEU and Connecting Europe Facility have considerable potential to boost the clean and renewable energy transition and pave the way towards net zero-carbon economies.

The European Commission proposes to dedicate 60% of Connecting Europe Facility to climate action. But a 40% share of potential gas investments will be accounted for climate action.

The Commission’s proposal for a 50% climate action spending target within InvestEU will apply to one policy window – sustainable infrastructure – out of four, which means that less than 15% will be genuinely allocated to climate action. This falls well short of the 60% target needed to achieve the commission’s commitment to earmark 25% of the overall future EU budget to climate action (2).

The proposed provision to integrate the cost of greenhouse gas emissions and the positive effects of climate mitigation in the cost-benefit analysis, however points to the right direction.

Markus Trilling, finance and subsidies policy coordinator at Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe, said: “The European Commission’s proposal on the 60% climate action earmarking in the Connecting Europe Facility programme looks like a smokescreen, as it includes investments in gas infrastructure.”

“The future Connecting Europe Facility will still allow subsidies to gas, despite the commitments to the Paris agreement and the CEF’s climate action target. The European Commission is giving with one hand and taking away with the other.”

“The proposed future InvestEU is not set to serve climate ambition as its current climate action target is far too low, despite positive developments like the integration of the costs of climate change and the effects of climate change mitigation in the cost-benefit analysis.”

“EU leaders and members of the European Parliament need to put future infrastructure investment funds back on track if the EU is serious about achieving the Paris Agreement goals.”



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

Notes to editors:

(1) The InvestEU regulation is accessible here and the Connecting Europe Facility regulation is accessible here.
(2) Read our climate mainstreaming scenarios (Long-term EU budget 2021-2027) here.


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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