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EU pledges green focus in coronavirus recovery program
REEI 2020/05/28

The European Union proposed making its climate-neutrality strategy a key pillar of a 750 billion-euro ($824 billion) recovery plan in a bid to boost economic growth and create new jobs.

The unprecedented stimulus program -- along with a revised budget for the next seven years -- aims to accelerate the transition to clean transport, increase energy savings and boost the production of renewable energy. The blueprint also promises more funds to help the regions most affected by the environmental clean-up that European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen put at the heart of her political agenda.

The package, the world’s greenest stimulus plan to mitigate the economic effects of the coronavirus crisis, needs to be approved by the bloc’s 27 member states in difficult negotiations that may take months. It would promote sustainable investment in sync with the EU’s climate and energy targets, a move that was missing in many national Covid-19 bailouts despite encouragement from the commission.

The stimulus program, which will be funded by the commission’s borrowing on financial markets, includes 500 billion euros in grants and 250 billion euros in loans. It comes on top of a 1.1 trillion-euro budget for the 2021-2027 period. It’s not immediately clear how much of the funds will be earmarked for green initiatives, though analysts put the numbers at more than 100 billion euros.

On the list is also a proposal to reinforce the budget for a European agriculture fund to help farmers and rural areas implement the Green Deal. The 15 billion-euro fund will help the agriculture sector achieve new biodiversity targets and Europe’s clean food supply chain strategy.




Guest post from Bloomberg