(01 February 2019) – The European Parliament has the clear intention of making Cohesion much greener from 2020. For the first time, there is also to be a ban on providing support for fossil fuels.
It was only a minor vote but it could set the course for Europe’s regions. Last week, the Parliament’s committee on regional development (REGI) voted on the framework regulation for the EU structural fund after 2020.
The framework regulation explicitly mentions climate protection as a priority of cohesion policy and puts first the principle of energy efficiency in the supported projects. In order to promote “climate proofing,” regional projects should preferably be given support if they cause as little environmental damage as possible and are “climate change-resistant.”
Moreover, in a new development, projects which use fossil fuels will no longer be supported, according to the European Parliament.
In addition, the national programmes for regional support should be aligned with respective member states’ climate plans and contribute to achieving the national climate goals for 2030. This would involve a perceptible shift, particularly in Eastern Europe, where traditionally many billions of euros are invested in infrastructure projects. (EurActiv)