EU lays out $1T-euro plan to support Green Deal
Brussels – The European Union plans to dedicate a quarter of its budget to tackling climate change and to work to shift 1 trillion euros ($1.1 trillion) in investment toward making the EU’s economy more environmentally friendly over the next 10 years.
Aiming to deliver on European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen’s Green Deal, EU officials said the Europe Investment Plan unveiled Tuesday will be funded by the bloc’s budget and by the private sector.
It includes a mechanism designed to help the regions that would be most disrupted economically by the transition to cleaner industries.
Von der Leyen took office Dec. 1 and has made the fight against climate change the priority of her term as president of the EU’s executive arm. Her Green Deal is aimed at making Europe the world’s first carbon-neutral continent by 2050,
“We will support our people and our regions that need to make bigger efforts in this transformation, to make sure that we leave no one behind,” she said.
The European Commission says that half of the investment will come from the EU budget. National governments will contribute 100 billion euros and 300 billion euros will come from the private sector.
Another 7.5 billion euros from the 2021-2027 EU budget is earmarked as seed funding within a broader mechanism expected to generate another 100 billion euros in investment. That money will be designed to convince coal-dependent countries like Poland to embrace the Green Deal by helping them weather the financial and social costs of moving away from fossil fuels.
“This is our pledge of solidarity and fairness,” said Frans Timmermans, the Dutch politician tapped as executive vice president of the European Green Deal.
The plan would allocate the money according to specific criteria. For example, regions where a large number of people work in coal, peat mining or shale oil and gas would get priority.
EU leaders agreed last month to make the bloc’s economy carbon neutral by the middle of the century, but Poland, which depends on coal for much of its energy needs, did not immediately agree to the timeline.