20 per cent for climate in EU budget
On 8 February, the EU heads of state agreed on a new budget for 2014–2020, which includes cuts by €32 billion compared with the previous budget period. Several budget items that are of major importance for green investments i.e. the Rural Development Fund and the LIFE programme will be slashed, while the much criticised direct payments to agriculture are untouched.
Jeremy Wates, EEB Secretary General, said: “This is the worst of both worlds: a smaller budget that is explicitly dedicated to keep pumping money into Europe’s most wasteful and harmful policies and projects, in particular the CAP.”
The budget deal, however, includes a commitment that at least 20 per cent of the spending will go to climate action objectives. Climate commissioner Connie Hedegaard:
“This is a major step forward for our efforts to handle the climate crisis. Rather than being parked in a corner of the EU budget, climate action will now be integrated into all main spending areas.”
This is not the last word on the EU budget. The four largest political groups in the European Parliament have stated in a joint press release that they will reject the budget as it stands.
Source: ENDS Europe Daily, 8 February 2013