Ministers debate increase of EU budget for climate action

Financing the transition

Today EU ministers exchanged views on the climate aspects of the next EU budget after 2020 at a General Affairs Council. Most Member States agreed to the proposal of the European Commission that 25% of it will have to serve climate action. Few progressive voices call for a more ambitious spending target as well as for excluding any funding to go to supporting fossil fuels.

In its proposal in May 2018, the European Commission recommended that 25% of the next Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) from 2021 to 2027 should be dedicated to climate action, an increase of 5% compared to the current MFF. It also set out safegards to ensure that not one cent of EU’s Cohesion Policy funding could be used for climate-harmful activities.

Today’s discussion at the General Affairs Council demonstrated that the majority of EU Member States support the proposal. France, however, reiterated its demand to allocate 40% of the next MFF to climate and to the ecological transition, and similarly a number of countries emphasised the need to climate-proof the entire EU budget.

The spending target of 25% falls well short of the unprecedented financial shift required to avoid dangerous climate change, and Member States must still ensure that the remaining 75% of EU spending will not further damage the climate, by excluding support to fossil fuels from all EU funds. The European Parliament in its position called for a 30% target for climate action.

Markus Trilling, Finance and Subsidies Policy Coordinator at Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe said:

“EU ministers are starting to connect the dots between the EU’s climate policy and its spending priorities. Still, the increase in climate spending that the ministers are calling for should only be the baseline for the upcoming EU budget cycle. Equally important, member states will have to ensure that not one cent of EU funding can be used for climate-harmful activities, by excluding all fossil fuels from the entire EU budget.”



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


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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