EU proposes long term and recovery budgets significantly tied to climate goals
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Combustion Industry News Editor
The European Commission has proposed a €1.1 trillion (US$1.26 trillion) budget for the 2021-27 period, as well as a €750 billion economic recovery fund to soften the economic impacts of the COVID-19 crisis. All funding from the recovery fund will have climate-related conditions attached, while 25% of the longer-term budget is to be dedicated to climate spending, two clear signals that the EC is highly committed to its target of net-zero carbon dioxide equivalent emissions by 2050. Eight countries – Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Greece, Hungary, Lithuania, Poland, Romania and Slovakia – appear to have been successful in their request that the recovery fund covers natural-gas related projects, with EU climate chief Frans Timmermans saying that “in some areas of the transition the use of natural gas will probably be necessary to shift away from coal to sustainable energy”. The compromise is that such natural gas projects must “do no harm” to the longer-term climate goals. However, smaller packages of the recovery fund, such as the €40 billion “just transition fund” explicitly exclude spending on any fossil fuels. Support from all states will be required to approve the proposals.