Leaked regulation on future EU budget in stark contradiction with EC’s climate action commitments

Financing the transition

Recent commitments to increase EU funds for climate action are at risk of being weakened, according to a leaked draft of the European Commission’s regulation on the European Regional Development Fund and on the Cohesion Fund (1).

In its communication on the future EU budget published on 2 May, the European Commission announced that 25% of the EU budget would be dedicated to climate action and implemented throughout all spending programmes.

However, according to the draft regulation on the European Regional Development Fund and on the Cohesion Fund outlining future spending in more detail, Member States are obliged to spend only 20% in the ‘green and low-carbon transition’ objective, falling short of the overall climate action target envisaged in the communication. To reach the monetary equivalent of 25% of the entire EU budget for climate action, the total of 320 billion euros promised, at least 40% of regional development and cohesion funds should be dedicated to climate action. (2)

Markus Trilling, finance and subsidies policy coordinator at Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe, said:
“By setting a 25% climate action target, the European Commission has acknowledged that more needs to be done in Europe to fight climate change and that the EU budget is an important tool to deliver on higher climate ambition. Now it is highly worrying to see that the European Commission is not adhering to its own proposal and not following through with its climate action commitments.” (3)

“The European Commission urgently needs to walk the talk in its legislative proposals and ensure that the climate action commitments are met.”



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

Notes to editors:

(1) The draft regulation 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.

(2) Read our climate mainstreaming scenarios (Long-term EU budget 2021-2027) here: https://caneurope.org/docman/fossil-fuel-subsidies-1/3352-annex-1-climate-mainstreaming-scenarios-mff-2021-2027-can-europe-may-2018/file

(3) Read our press release “Proposed future EU budget embraces increased climate action” published on 2 May here: https://caneurope.org/publications/press-releases/1601-proposed-future-eu-budget-embraces-increased-climate-action


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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