Monday, January 17, 2022

Climate protection: European Commission estimates €300 billion a year, €3 trillion by 2030


Zubair Yaqoob
The author has diversified experience in investigative journalism. He is Chief content editor at

New Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has given great promise to secure the necessary majority on climate protection policy in the European Parliament. She wants to score with the ambitious MPs with the pledge, the EU to become the first climate-neutral continent by 2050.

On Monday evening, the MPs again put pressure. Representatives of almost all groups advocated proclaiming the climate emergency. Whether Leyen, whose commission is to be confirmed this Wednesday by the European Parliament, agrees with this demand is an open question.

The preparation of the Commission’s new Climate protection policy is in full swing before the start of the World Climate Change Conference in Madrid in early December. Above all, this applies to the central question: how to finance Leyen’s climate policy.

“Commission’s new Climate policy in full swing before the start of World Climate Change Conference in Madrid”

Since the summer, politicians and experts have been puzzling over how the Commission’s president plans to reduce EU CO2 emissions by 50 to 55 percent by 2030 compared to 1990 and then to virtually zero by 2050.

There is an internal overview of the commission, where the money for this is to come from. The European Commission estimates €300 billion a year, €3 trillion by 2030 – in addition to the already planned climate expenditures. That is equivalent to no less than 1.9 percent of the gross domestic product of the EU. A spokesman of Ursula von der Leyen denied in the evening that she knew the paper.

According to the document, half of the sum should come directly from the EU. The other half should be provided by the Member States and the private sector. The states are to invest in climate policy in a targeted manner, possibly even annually reviewed by the European Commission, and to use revenues from new levies for air traffic and tariff surcharges on goods produced in a climate-damaging manner.

The EU’s share, in turn, is divided into two pillars: the budget of the international community and the European Investment Bank (EIB). As already announced, the Luxembourg bank is expected to double its investment in climate protection by 2025, which equates to an additional 60 billion euros per year.

The lion’s share of the extra money for climate protection must come from the budget. The Leyen wants to reserve about 100 billion euros in this “European Plan for Sustainable Investment”, which was announced in the summer. By 2030, this would correspond to the then announced by her then 1 trillion euros.

EU would have to drastically increase the share of climate expenditure in the overall budget from just less than one fifth to at least half. That’s exactly what you can not say.

“Luxembourg bank is expected to double its investment in climate protection by 2025, which equates additional 60 billion euros per year”

For example, the EU-Invest fund or Juncker fund alone should contribute a total of 27 billion euros a year. As a reminder, the fund takes on the main risk of projects with relatively small amounts from the EU budget, bringing other investors on board.

Nearly half of the €100 billion a year is to come together by targeting expenditure in the various fields of EU policy from agricultural aid to research on climate change. Smaller billions should come from the revenues of emissions trading and the budget for environmental policy.

Read also: UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres calls for rapid action to avoid climate change disaster

In addition, grants from national budgets, which must be paid by the states in order to tap into certain subsidy funds, are included in the amount of 9 billion euros. After all, that equates to almost one tenth of their climate protection investment program.

In any case, the big uncertainty for planning is whether the Member States will support the drastic increase in climate protection spending. They decide – albeit jointly with the European Parliament – on the expenditure.

The starting point is a proposal from the outgoing commission of Jean-Claude Juncker for the financial framework 2021 to 2027, which sets a kind of upper limit for the annual budgets of the EU.

Between 160 and 170 billion euros a year are earmarked for the budget as a whole. So far, the dispute has been more about whether this is too much or too little and how much money farmers and regions receive. Of the Leyen’s climate plans played at best a subordinate role.

Read also: Europe is warming faster than expected because of climate change

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