European Governments recently agreed a $2 Trillion COVID rescue plan, with $572 Billion going directly to climate action. And yes, it’s the biggest green stimulus in history. But to put it in perspective only $54 Billion of recovery funds, globally, had been earmarked for green policies beforehand. So it’s the biggest in history, by a country mile.
“Never before, has so much of an EU budget been allocated to combating climate change.The commitments to climate action and environmental protection are important and necessary, but the distribution of funds must reflect that.”
Svenja Schulze, German Environment Minister.
It gives 27 European Nations funding to pursue a clean energy transition, stimulate the market for electric cars, promote energy efficiency and invest in emerging technologies, and underlines their intent to be the first net-zero continent by 2050.
The European Commission is also considering making it’s 2030 targets even more ambitious, raising them from 40% – 55%. And 40% of the EU’s agriculture budget will be dedicated to climate too, encouraging a more sustainable approach to farming.
“There’s no getting around the fact that climate now has an essential role in EU politics. There are caveats on how it will be put to practice, but that’s still a massive investment in a better recovery.”
Johanna Lehne, Policy Adviser, E3G – Brussels Climate Think Tank
And finally, the Commission is developing a methodology to detect and prevent greenwashing in regards to expenditure. An idea, perhaps, the rest of the world could benefit from too. Regardless, it’s great news for who care about the environment, and another step in the right direction.