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MADNESS OF OUR AGE: Climate-Linked Spending Set to Rise to a Quarter of EU Budget

By Ewa Krukowska

 April 30, 2018, 12:00 AM EDT
  • European Commission to present 2021-2027 budget proposal May 2
  • Climate to be component of regional aid, transport spending

The European Union’s executive is poised to propose spending 25 percent of funds available in next EU multiannual budget on activities related to climate protection, making sure new economic and political challenges don’t weaken the bloc’s resolve to fight pollution.

The European Commission’s blueprint for the 2021-2027 budget, to be proposed on May 2, will boost the so-called climate mainstreaming from 20 percent in the current multiannual financial plan, according to a person with knowledge of the matter. The funds for reducing emissions and adapting to climate change will be earmarked under policies such as regional aid, transport, research and external relations, said the person, who asked not to be identified because talks on the draft budget are private.

Emitting Industries

EU greenhouse gas emissions by economic activity

Source: Eurostat data for 2015

The post-Brexit budget proposal is set to kick off a political battle in the bloc as the Brussels-based commission is trying to balance interests of net contributors to the EU coffers skeptical of boosting outlays and net recipients that have relied on European funding for economic expansion. The plan will urge reductions in farm and regional aid to allow for more spending on security.


In November, the commission is set to present a new climate strategy for the next decades, with several member states and numerous environmental lobbies urging tougher goals.