Europe agrees biggest green stimulus the world has ever seen
EU lawmakers this morning agreed a €672 billion recovery fund for the bloc's economy, 37% of which must be invested in projects that support climate objectives. Transport & Environment (T&E) welcomed the green stimulus for the Covid-hit continent but criticised the blanket support for ‘alternative fuels’ such as biofuels and gas which can be counted as climate spending. The green spending plan is completely silent on electric cars, even though the EU’s own green finance law says only zero-emissions vehicles are sustainable.
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William Todts, T&E’s executive director, said: “This is the biggest green stimulus plan ever. Thanks to relentless campaigning by NGOs, hundreds of billions are now available to be spent on renewable power, efficient housing, electric buses and cycle paths. But it’s absurd that this deal greenlights governments the squandering of EU money on things like fossil gas and high-emitting biofuels while not having a word to say about electric cars and trucks.”
T&E said the European Commission can still stop fake green investments if it takes seriously the Do No Harm principle, which is enshrined in the plan. Campaign groups will continue their fight to stop stimulus going to polluting industries. Earlier this year an appeal by 130 NGOs for a ‘Green and just Recovery’ attracted the support of more than 1.3 million people.