Climate-linked spending set to rise to a quarter of EU budget
The European Union's executive is poised to propose spending 25% of funds available in next EU multi-annual budget on activities related to climate protection, making sure new economic and political challenges don't weaken the bloc's resolve to fight pollution.
The European Commission's blueprint for the 2021-2027 budget, to be proposed on May 2, will boost the so-called climate mainstreaming from 20% in the current multi-annual financial plan, according to a person with knowledge of the matter.
The funds for reducing emissions and adapting to climate change will be earmarked under policies such as regional aid, transport, research and external relations, said the person, who asked not to be identified because talks on the draft budget are private.
The post-Brexit budget proposal is set to kick off a political battle in the bloc as the Brussels-based commission is trying to balance interests of net contributors to the EU coffers sceptical of boosting outlays and net recipients that have relied on European funding for economic expansion.
The plan will urge reductions in farm and regional aid to allow for more spending on security.
While Europe's political priorities are changing, the EU wants to continue leading global efforts to reduce greenhouse gases, which scientists blame for heating up the planet, and seeks to cut dependence on fossil fuels, shifting to cleaner renewable energy sources.
The bloc aims to lower carbon emissions by at least 40 percent by 2030 compared with 1990 levels and to boost the share of renewables to at least 27% of energy consumption.
In November, the commission is set to present a new climate strategy for the next decades, with several member states and numerous environmental lobbies urging tougher goals.