EU funds could be tied to CO2 reduction – German environment minister
Germany’s environment minister Svenja Schulze has said that the EU budget and recovery package funds could be tied to emissions reduction measures. In an interview with tageszeitung (taz) ahead of Germany’s EU Council presidency starting this week, she said the bloc’s current budget debate must be tied to the Green Deal. She proposed: “To the [economically] weaker countries, we have to say: ‘There is money, but it is coupled with measures to reduce CO2’.” Thrifty countries, on the other hand, needed to be persuaded that investment – such as in greener buildings – is critical to climate protection, she added. Schulze also said she agreed that vehicle emission limits needed to be further tightened in order to meet EU CO2 emission targets for 2030. She cautioned, however, that a majority was unlikely to be reached on the issue during the country’s six-month presidency, which begins on 1 July. Discussion of a Europe-wide CO2 price for transport and buildings was more likely to yield results, she said.
Germany’s climate plans for its EU presidency have been thrown into disarray by the coronavirus crisis. But it has nonetheless called for an EU recovery plan driven by climate protection and digitalisation. Chancellor Angela Merkel has said that the Green Deal growth strategy “offers a central guideline and also a great opportunity in regards to economic recovery.” The EU, meanwhile, plans to set aside 25% of both its 1 trillion euro, seven-year budget and possibly also the 750 billion euro corona recovery fund for climate action. EU leaders must agree on a 2030 climate target before the year is out.