The European Parliament approved a 17.5 billion euro (USD$21 billion) fund that will help the most coal-dependent EU countries transition to a climate-neutral economy. Who are these countries and what will the fund entail?
What is Happening?
- The vote on the EU Just Transition fund came just before a May 24-25 summit of the bloc’s heads of government, where stricter 2030 climate goals were discussed, as well as how to reach them.
- The fund will include 7.5 billion euros from the EU budget for 2021-2027 and 10 billion euros from the region’s economic recovery programme. The fund is intended to help finance investment in areas like renewable energy, energy efficiency, sustainable transport and digital innovation. The biggest beneficiaries of the fund will include Poland, Germany, Romania and the Czech Republic.
- Under the Green Deal, the EU is tightening its emissions-reduction policies, and is an unprecedented overhaul that envisages slashing greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% by 2030 below 1990 levels, and achieving carbon neutrality by 2050.
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Jerzy Buzek, a member of the European Parliament who led the initiative to launch the JTF, said, “It’s citizens who are at the heart of the fund. They don’t want new mines, smog and homes collapsing because of mining-related damages. Neither do they want to choose between climate protection and jobs.”
- Carbon prices in the EU Emissions Trading Scheme, the largest carbon market in the world, exceeded 50 euros per metric ton for the first time on May 4. Rising prices make it more expensive to release carbon dioxide and force industries to look for cleaner ways to operate, showing these carbon prices are working.
- Some experts predict that carbon futures in the EU will trade as high as 75 euros by the end of the year.
Featured image by: Flickr