Environmental policiesPolicy and Affairs

Climate action, EU “invented” 72 billion euros

The note from the EU Court of Auditors wands Brussels on spending on climate action

(Sustainabililtyenvironment.com) – Brussels has inflated its climate action spending by at least 50%, counting many measures that have little or nothing to do with climate. Especially in the common agricultural policy. It has written the EU Court of Auditors presenting the result of the monitoring of the budget seven-year 2014-2020.

According to the European Commission’s report, the EU would have totaled €216 billion in climate spending. Exactly the amount needed to reach the community target for that year, or 20% of the budget. But for the body based in Luxembourg, the accounts are not broken. And much more. Real climate action would not exceed 144 billion euros. The EU would therefore have camouflaged 72 billion climate protection measures that do not help the fight against climate change at all.

“The fight against climate change is a key priority for the EU, which has set ambitious climate and energy targets,” said Joëlle Elvinger, the Member of the Court responsible for the audit. “The Court found that in the period 2014-2020, not all expenditure of the EU budget declared in relation to climate was actually relevant to action in this area. For this reason, several recommendations are made to better link EU spending to the climate and energy objectives pursued. For example, the Court recommends that the Commission justify the climate relevance of agricultural funding”.

It is in this very area that 60 of the 72 billion that has been put under the lens have been identified. “Fault” also of how the EU sets the count: it is a priori, based on coefficients and expected results, instead of a posteriori and based on real data. And there is no monitoring system for verification.

For this reason, the Court of Auditors fears that the same dynamic can be repeated for the current seven-year budget, during which the climate action expenditure target rises from 20 to 30%. Also for how central tools are structured, including the Next Generation Eu. The latter “contemplates the fundamental principle of “not causing significant harm”, that is, economic activities must not pose a threat to environmental or climate objectives. The Court noted, however, that the instrument poses additional problems due to unclear links between payments and climate targets”, the communication states.

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