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Markus Trilling is finance and subsidies policy coordinator at CAN Europe, the largest coalition working on climate and energy issues in Europe, representing 44 million citizens.
Today the EU budget’s full potential to catalyse the zero-carbon transformation in Europe remains largely untapped. The EU Budget still contains subsidies for fossil fuels, and competing priorities and incoherent implementation of climate action are derailing its climate credits.
The outcry of European leaders after US President Trump’s announcement to pull out from the Paris Agreement was loud and indignant, with a number making strong statements to continue the fight against climate change. The European Commission was the first to promise EU leadership on ambitious climate policies. But is this being fully delivered on?
Against this background the European Commission will publish its ‘Reflection paper on the future of EU finances’ on 28 June, part of a broader exercise initiated by President Juncker on the EU’s future direction after Brexit. Therefore the next long term EU budget post-2020 will fall into the scope of considerations on the Future of Europe.
The impact of the EU budget on climate action is significant, there is huge potential to pursue the full integration of climate action measures into the current and future spending of the EU. Such integration would edge the EU ahead in the global race towards clean energy and energy security and safeguard the EU’s own financial system from potential future shocks associated with climate change. It would also avoid stranded assets and make the whole EU budget more efficient.
Current EU finances still fuel polluting activities