So what does this mean? Billions more dollars poured into the uber carbon gravy train? Twenty whole percent?
Current climate spending is estimated at 5-7%. So this might be a big increase. Has the EU gone over the waterfall, or is it more a PR exercise where money that would have been spent on other things is rebadged as a “climate” expenditure.*
The power of a single department may get diffused and spread among lots of departments. WWF are not happy and nor is the European Environmental Bureau. It can’t be all bad. ( )
BRUSSELS, Belgium, February 8, 2013 (ENS) – European heads of state and government have agreed to commit at least 20 percent of the entire European Union budget over the next seven years to climate-related spending.
All-night negotiations in Brussels produced agreement among EU leaders on budget proposals for the rest of the decade, from 2014-2020.“Climate action objectives will represent at least 20% of EU spending in the period 2014-2020 and therefore be reflected in the appropriate instruments to ensure that they contribute to strengthen energy security, building a low-carbon, resource efficient and climate resilient economy that will enhance Europe’s competitiveness and create more and greener jobs,” the final agreement states.
The seven-year budget was agreed at 960 billion euros ($1.28 trillion). By comparison, the budget for the years 2007-2013 was 975.777 billion euros.
“Rather than being parked in a corner of the EU budget, climate action will now be integrated into all main spending areas – cohesion, innovation, infrastructure, agriculture,” Hedegaard said.
Council President Herman Van Rompuy said in a news conference today that, while the budget must be leaner to reflect today’s financial realities, “the focus is clearly on triggering new investments and on developing transport, energy and ICT networks, including 30 billion euros for “connecting Europe.”
International aid received a disproportionately large cut while investment in connecting Europe’s energy infrastructure, a move that would allow better pooling of renewable resources, was cut from €12bn to €5bn.
“This is not a good deal for the climate. There are some interesting elements but the complete failure on Common Agriculture Policy (CAP) is such that it will be bad for the environment and climate in general,” said Sebastien Godinot, an economist with WWF’s European Policy Office.
“We’re very much opposed to the council adopting this proposal. It would be a major missed opportunity,” he told RTCC.
European Environmental Bureau calls it a disgrace
But Europe’s largest coalition of grassroots environmental organizations, the European Environmental Bureau, which represents more than 140 NGOs, condemned the outcome as “a disgrace.”
EEB Secretary General Jeremy Wates 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 Commission intends to increase the proportion of climate related expenditure to at least 20%, with contributions from different policy fields subject to impact assessment evidence. This approach will maximise synergies between environmental policies and other areas and also help to avoid a proliferation of programmes as well as to minimise administrative burden”.