Cities and regions will be able to further invest in green projects, so that Europe can reach its climate neutrality target by 2050. The European Parliament has set the standards for Cohesion Policy to assist in the decarbonisation of our societies and implement a socially just, green, and equitable transition.
Tonino Picula MEP, European Parliament negotiator on the file, said:
“The main idea of this report was to outline the necessary steps for a transition towards a climate neutral Europe by 2050 from a regional perspective. With an approved budget of over 330 billion euros in the current programming period, Cohesion Policy is the largest and most important investment tool in Europe. As 30% of both the Cohesion Fund and the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) will need to be spent on projects for decarbonisation of our economy, Cohesion Policy has a crucial role in tackling climate change. This is a chance our regions cannot miss out on! The next ten years will design the way forward and the political possibilities for the upcoming decades, and we must remember that the European Parliament proclaimed on 28 November 2019 a ‘climate and environmental emergency’.
“The 1.5°C limit of the Paris Agreement might be reached by the end of the year 2027, therefore, within the Cohesion Policy framework of 2021 – 2027. This is why in this report we have fought to highlight the fact that social fairness must be the focus for a just transition towards climate neutrality; that updates on the Paris Agreement every 5 years should have an impact for Cohesion Policy; that the fight against climate change must be tackled at a local, regional, national, European and global level; committing to phasing out fossil fuels by 2025; and that jobs, better quality of life and greener cities are a goal for the investment policy regarding climate change. Because this is not only a matter of environment, it is also a matter of economic and social change.”
Constanze Krehl MEP, S&D spokesperson on regional development, said:
“Cohesion Policy is a great tool to address climate change, which is one of the most pressing challenges faced by Europeans. The modernised Cohesion Policy for 2021-2027 has a special focus on tackling the environmental crisis. This focus allows regions and cities to use European funds to address climate change – for big projects as well as for innovative local solutions. Cohesion Policy can therefore make a major contribution to achieving the EU’s climate priorities.”