EU budget plan to prioritise climate will ensure smarter spending

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.

Funds allocated to electricity transmission, electricity storage, smart grids, and renewable energy would be considered to be 100% “climate spending”, as would rail investment and clean urban transport. There would also be incentives for so-called “synergy” projects that impact more than one of the following sectors: transport, energy and digital. This could accelerate investment in smart charging, smart grids, and energy storage.

Samuel Kenny, freight policy officer at T&E, said: “The focus of the Commission's spending plan is exactly right: smart electromobility powered by clean, renewable electricity. Combined with national but also private spending, this plan can help build the infrastructure needed to make the e-mobility revolution happen in Europe.”

However, gas will also be eligible for EU funding and be counted towards the climate spending goals, under the proposal. A 2016 T&E study showed gas vehicles have no meaningful climate benefits compared to conventional vehicles. The report also found biomethane can be a good low-carbon fuel but should be focused on local or regional solutions as it cannot be produced sustainably at the scale required for widespread use.

Samuel Kenny concluded: “It’s worrying that some within the European Commission still seem to think the EU needs to help the gas industry create a market for CNG and LNG vehicles. That makes no sense at all from a climate, air quality or energy security point of view and is, frankly, a waste of public money."


Contact the press team

Nico Muzi
Communications Director
+32 (0)484 27 87 91 
nico.muzi@transportenvironment.org

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