EU lawmakers have opened the door for fossil fuel projects to benefit under the EU’s €670 billion recovery fund. The European Parliament’s economy and budget committees last night rejected an exclusion list that would ban activities that exacerbate climate change or the nature crisis from the fund. Transport & Environment (T&E) said the parliament’s plenary can still fight to keep polluters out of NextGenerationEU.
Luca Bonaccorsi, sustainable finance director at T&E, said: “The recovery fund will be entirely paid by the next generation, yet MEPs are leaving them on the hook for potentially billions in fossil fuel investments. The parliament needs to put back the exclusion list to ensure their money is invested in a sustainable economy.”
Just 40% of the recovery fund should be ‘green’ spending, MEPs said today, leaving the remaining €402 billion available to polluting projects - such as incentives to buy new diesel cars and bailouts for airline polluters. This is in sharp contrast to the parliament’s environment committee, which last month voted for 47% of the spending to be on sustainable projects - and for a blanket exclusion of fossil fuels from accessing the rest of the fund.
T&E called on the parliament’s plenary to keep the recovery green when it votes later this week. By rejecting this watering down of the green criteria, it can instead demand an exclusion list of polluters during negotiations with national governments and the European Commission.