On March 14, Members of the European Parliament set out their position on the next long-term EU budget. The European Parliament adopted two resolutions on the expenditure and revenue of the next multi-annual financial framework (MFF), to apply from 2021, the European Parliament said in a press release. Parliament wants the EU budget to match political priorities and address some of the new challenges facing all member states, including climate change.

The MEPs recognise the importance of the EU budget in the fight against climate change, and in the transition towards zero-carbon and climate-resilient economies.

The European Parliament’s position follows a recent statement made by 14 environment ministers that are members of the Green Growth Group, adding to the growing momentum for enhanced climate action in EU spending, according to Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe.

The MEPs call for significantly more financial support to tackle climate change than the current level of 20%, with a 30% climate action spending target, and for the phasing-out of fossil fuel subsidies in future EU spending. Further on, they emphasise the need for CO2 reduction when investing EU funds in the transport sector, and for support to carbon-intensive regions as they transition to the zero-carbon economy.

“Today’s vote on the next EU budget clearly indicates that the European Parliament expects the EU to use its financial resources to boost climate action in the coming years,” said Markus Trilling, finance and subsidies policy coordinator at CAN Europe, said. “Parliament is right in highlighting the EU budget’s untapped potential to deliver on the Paris Agreement objectives,” he added.

“Now the European Commission must be all ears and bring the future EU budget in line with the Paris Agreement in its proposal to be published the beginning of May, and allocate 40% towards climate action,” he said, adding that financial flows must move away from fossil fuels towards a just and clean energy transition, and deliver more support for developing countries as they face unprecedented climate change impacts.