MFF proposal lacks ambition and proper incentives

MFF proposal lacks ambition and proper incentives

The European Commission published today its Communication on the next Multiannual Financial Framework (2021-2027). According to the proposal, the Commission aims to introduce the principle of climate mainstreaming across all EU programmes by raising the current share (20%) of climate related objectives to 25% of overall EU expenditure.

Green Budget Europe (GBE) supports the additional focus on climate, sustainability and rule of law. However, the Commission’s proposal lacks the ambition needed to tackle the environmental problems that our societies are facing today. In agriculture, the proposal maintains the current system of direct payments without giving much emphasis to its devastating impacts on biodiversity. GBE would have expected clear performance indicators linked to these payments, and to provide a carrot and stick approach throughout the budget.

Similarly, climate funding should have been doubled (40%) compared to the present level (20% under the current MFF). “We are not on track with our commitments to biodiversity and climate change. Europe committed in its EU 2020 strategy to phase out all environmentally harmful subsidies by 2020, which needs to be eventually implemented. Globally, nearly all fossil fuel subsidies must be phased out during the next 30 years if we are to comply with the Paris agreement. This is the greatest challenge of our times, which will not be met unless we introduce a wide set of incentives to achieve a low-carbon economy”, emphasizes GBE Director, Eero Yrjö-Koskinen.

On a more positive note, GBE endorses the Commission’s proposal to introduce new income from the revenues of the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS). This idea was also advocated by Mr. Yrjö-Koskinen at a recent public hearing on the EU budget and the Paris climate agreement organised at the European Parliament.

“ETS is already in place in all Member States, whereby it is only logical that we use part of this funding to finance climate-related activities at EU level. We also welcome the Commission’s proposal to introduce a new contribution based on the amount of non-recycled plastic waste in the Member States. Hopefully, this will lead to new incentives to promote circular economy”, says Yrjö-Koskinen.

Regarding the proposal on plastics, GBE refers to a recent report published by its member and co-founding organisation Green Budget Germany. Plastic is a useful material with great properties and a wide range of applications. The price of plastic is however too low, which reveals itself in our excessive consumption and careless disposal of this valuable, mostly fossil resource. This comes along with various environmental problems, like the disconcerting littering of our oceans, and huge costs not reflected in the price. The Commission’s proposal should correct some of this market distortion by creating an incentive to reduce packaging waste.

For further information:

Eero Yrjö-Koskinen, Executive Director
tel: +32 2 514 3480, gsm: +358 50 347 8778

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