Spending 60% of the EU’s key infrastructure fund on contributing to climate objectives – as proposed by the European Commission today – will ensure smarter and cleaner spending, green NGO Transport & Environment (T&E) has said. The Connecting Europe Facility would have €42.3 billion to co-finance investments including €30 billion for transport, as part of the draft 2021-2027 EU budget just published.
The Board of sustainable transport group Transport & Environment (T&E) has today announced William Todts as its new Executive Director. He succeeds Jos Dings, who this week leaves the position after 13 years.
The European Commision wants 60% of the EU’s key infrastructure fund spent on contributing to climate objectives. It has proposed that the €42 billion Connecting Europe Facility would have €30 billion to co-finance investments in transport, and that funding for electricity transmission, electricity storage, smart grids, renewable energy, rail, and clean urban transport would be considered to be 100% “climate spending”.
A group of leading utilities, investors and NGOs have called on President Juncker to invest more money in zero-emission mobility and power generation when allocating the EU budget after 2020. Aviva Investors, 2 Degrees Investing, Eurelectric, Ocean Energy Europe, Mirova Investing, E3G, Greenway, Climate Bonds Initiative, Fastned and T&E demand future EU investment be focused on decarbonising the transport sector.
A group of leading utilities, investors and NGOs have called on President Juncker to invest more money in zero-emission mobility and power generation when allocating the EU budget after 2020. Aviva Investors, 2 Degrees Investing, Eurelectric, Ocean Energy Europe, Mirova Investing, among others, demand future EU investment be focused on decarbonising the transport sector.
In 2018 the EU will develop a budget for the 2021-2027 period. The current budget earmarks €100 billion for investment in transport infrastructure, as well as research and innovation. Nevertheless, emissions continue to rise from the sector and represent 27% of Europe’s total greenhouse gas emissions. Spending should prioritise addressing this worrying trend, investing in infrastructure that helps reduce such emissions. Furthermore, the most polluting means of transport could become new own resources for the EU budget, which would help to reduce emissions and fill the EU budget gap that will be left after the UK exits the EU. Read more in our responses to the European Commission’s open consultations on the EU budget.
The rapid growth of renewable energy has reached a new milestone, with renewable sources contributing more than two-thirds of new power added to the world’s electricity supply in 2016. The figures come from the International Energy Agency, whose director described them as ‘the birth of a new era in solar photovoltaics’.
The EU’s Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) determines how EU money is spent. The current €1 trillion budget runs from 2014 to 2020 with almost €100 billion earmarked for investment in the transport sector. The current MFF Regulation states that “the Commission should present a proposal for a new multiannual financial framework before 1 January 2018”. This budget would most likely start from 2021.
Transport is the largest source of EU emissions and accounts for around a quarter of EU GHG emissions. Meanwhile air pollution from road transport contributes to over 400.000 premature deaths per year, 26.000 people die in traffic annually and the EU economy loses €100 billion every year in congestion. A large portion of the EU’s budget is currently spent on expanding road infrastructure and building up fossil fuel infrastructure (e.g. LNG terminals). A future EU budget should invest tax payers money more carefully, and prioritize investment in infrastructure that reduces the environmental impact of transport and assists member states in reaching their climate goals. In this paper T&E outlines how part of the post-2020 budget should be allocated.
It is with a heavy heart that I write this last editorial for the T&E Bulletin, having led this wonderful organisation since 2004. The obvious question to ask now is ‘Have we made a difference?’