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(21 May 2020) - The Commission’s promised green recovery plan will focus on building renovation, renewables and hydrogen as well as clean mobility and the circular economy, according to a leaked working document obtained by EurActiv.

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The European Commission is busy putting together a plan to help the EU economy recover from the COVID-19 crisis, preparing to pour at least €1 trillion into a broad stimulus programme expected to be presented next week.

For buildings, the Commission plans to launch a “European Renovation Financing Facility”, tentatively financed with €91 billion per annum and blended with other sources of funding to reach €350 billion in investment per year.

On renewables, key aspects of the recovery plan include: 1) An EU tendering scheme for renewable electricity projects worth 15 GW over 2 years, with a total capital investment of €25 billion. 2) Support for national schemes with €10 billion over two years, using co-financing by the European Investment Bank (EIB).

For clean hydrogen, the Commission intends to: 1) Double the amount of funding for clean hydrogen research and innovation, currently standing at €650 million. 2) A further €10 billion over the next ten years – involving co-financing – to “substantially reduce risks” of large and complex projects such as hydrogen.

For the automotive industry, the plan proposes: 1) An EU-wide Purchasing Facility for Clean Vehicles, that reduces CO2 and pollutant emissions in line with EU standards. Amount: €20 billion in the next two years. 2) A Clean Automotive Investment Fund to accelerate the investments in zero-emission drive trains. Amount: €40-60 billion. 3) Doubling EU investment on electric car recharging infrastructure, with the objective of reaching 2 million public charging and alternative refuelling stations by 2025.

For the rail sector: 1) A Renaissance of Rail Investment package. focusing on on key corridors where passengers and freight can shift to rail. Amount: €40 billion. 2) Financial support for the changeover of the rolling stock, and bring night-train services back into Europe.

The recovery plan also foresees greater funding for urban mobility programmes, such as cycling infrastructure, to be financed under the EU’s regional funding programmes. A further two sections are dedicated to the circular economy and the farming sector, with a focus on digitalisation. (EurActiv)

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