Factbox: How ‘green’ is the EU recovery agreement?

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – European Union leaders reached an agreement on Tuesday for a massive stimulus package that the European Commission says will make the fight against climate change central to Europe’s economic recovery from the pandemic of coronavirus.

European Council President Charles Michel and European Commission President Ursula Von Der Leyen attend a press conference after a four-day European summit at the European Council in Brussels, Belgium on July 21, 2020. Stephanie Lecocq / Pool via REUTERS

Climate advocates said the final deal, an EU budget of € 1,074 trillion by 2021-27, plus a € 750 billion recovery fund, was a combination, with large sums earmarked for green investments, but cuts to key climate programs and insufficient rules to guarantee cash does not allow polluting investments.

Here are the climatic elements of the agreement.


The deal spends 30% of the entire package for climate protection and says that all spending must contribute to the EU’s emission reduction targets.

This could generate nearly 550 billion euros of spending on climate during 2021-27, a massive sum, but well below the 2.4 billion euros in investment that researchers say is needed to meet the climate goals of the EU.


The EU’s flagship fund for countries that wean fossil fuels received € 17.5 billion, less than half of what had been previously proposed. The conditions for access were also diluted.

Countries that have not signed up to an EU-wide goal to become “climate neutral” by 2050 will only get half of their participation in the Fair Transition Fund.

The previous proposals would have forced countries to commit to climate neutrality at the national level, but EU officials said it was a “red line” for Poland, which the coal-laden country hoped to receive most of the money. .

The money was also removed from InvestEU and Horizon Europe, two programs aimed at sustainable investments, as EU leaders accepted cuts to appease frugal countries in the north.


New green taxes will help fill the EU coffers, with an EU-level tax on non-recycled plastic waste slated for next year.

A plan to tax polluting imports should be ready by 2023, and a plan to use carbon market revenue to shore up EU funds will be considered later.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel (R) and French President Emmanuel Macron (L) arrive at a joint press conference at the end of the European summit at the EU headquarters in Brussels on July 21, 2020. John Thys / Pool a via REUTERS


The EU deal does not say what rules it will apply to ensure that funds go to climate-friendly schemes, and some members of the European Parliament, who must approve the package, refused to pledge their support without tougher conditions to block investment. pollutants.

“There are too many things that still need improvement,” said Dutch lawmaker Green Bas Eickhout. “The agreement is not yet over.”

Report by Kate Abnett; Editing by Nick Macfie

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