Today the European Parliament's Committee on Regional Development (REGI) adopted the so-called Common Provisions Regulation, which sets the conditions and principles governing the funding for Cohesion Policy from 2021 to 2027. NGO groups CEE Bankwatch Network and Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe welcome the regulation, which exceeds the European Commission’s proposal by introducing new and additional safeguards against climate change.
The regulation adopted today in the REGI committee improves an earlier proposal from the Commission through the introduction of new provisions aiming at climate proofing the funds dedicated to bettering Europe’s regional development.
In addition to cutting funding for fossil fuels in the future Cohesion Policy, the provisions emphasise the energy efficiency-first principle and prioritise emission cuts and a zero-carbon pathway in line with the EU’s climate and energy targets for 2030. The regulation also encourages a socially-just energy transition and greater public participation in planning and implementing EU funding.
Markus Trilling, finance and subsidies policy coordinator at Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe, said: “The European Parliament’s vote acknowledges the urgent and imperative need to align Cohesion Policy funding with the Paris Agreement. The agreed climate proofing is a big step in the right direction as it should allow the EU to foster its regions in a sustainable and climate-friendly way, particularly in central and eastern European countries which are still relying heavily on fossil fuels.”
“Now MEPs must stay consistent at the upcoming vote on the European Regional Development Fund post-2020 and fully take into account these new safegards on climate protection.”
Raphael Hanoteaux, EU policy officer with CEE Bankwatch Network, said: “A just transition is well underway in central and eastern Europe, and the Parliament's vote today recognises the essential role that local communities and authorities must play in remaking their energy futures. Ending funding for fossil fuels and guaranteeing civic engagement through the partnership principle is the best way to ensure an energy transformation that leaves no one behind.”
Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe is Europe's leading NGO coalition fighting dangerous climate change. With over 150 member organisations from 35 European countries, representing over 1.700 NGOs and more than 40 million citizens, CAN Europe promotes sustainable climate, energy and development policies throughout Europe.