EU agrees historic recovery plan but without significant climate safeguards
No one can deny the historic value of the recovery plan agreed by EU leaders today, green group Transport & Environment (T&E) has said. But despite a welcome reference to the Paris Agreement and climate neutrality, the plan lacks basic climate safeguards such as a blanket exclusion of fossil fuels. Just 30% of overall spending will be towards achieving the EU’s climate goals.
William Todts, executive director at T&E, said: “We cannot accept the paradox that something called 'Next Generation EU' invests 70% of its funds in an older generation’s economy while asking young Europeans to foot the bill. Our fight must continue. Surely the European Parliament will amend this historic plan and make it fit for the future.”
T&E said climate spending under the plan needs to be raised to at least 50%, backed by a solid methodology, such as the taxonomy. The 'do no harm' principle - whereby no spending should be on projects deemed to do environmental damage - cannot be an empty promise: it needs a clear definition of harmful activities.