Brussels Daily
13 Mar 2019


Brussels Daily

EU budget for 2021-2027: Commission welcomes the provisional agreement on funding for the environment and climate action

The European Commission welcomes the provisional agreement reached by the European Parliament and Council on the LIFE programme for the Environment and Climate Action, as part of the next long-term EU budget 2021-2027. The funding will focus on protecting the environment and mitigating climate change, supporting a clean energy transition with increased energy efficiency and a higher share of renewables in the energy mix.This will be one of the tools enabling the EU to meet its climate goals and seek to become climate-neutral by 2050. Welcoming the agreement Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Karmenu Vella said: “Every day we see hundreds of thousands of young Europeans marching for the future of our planet and demanding that we do more. With more funding, we can better address these concerns, speed up the transition to a circular economy and reduce our footprint on nature and biodiversity.” Climate Action and Energy Commissioner Miguel Arias Cañete added: “A stronger LIFE programme will play an important role in expanding investments in climate action and sustainable energy across Europe. By continuing to support climate change mitigation and adaptation, LIFE will also continue to help the EU deliver on its climate goals and commitments under the Paris Agreement and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.” The LIFE programme is among the EU funding programmes for which the Commission has proposed the largest proportional increase for the period 2021-2027. Raising the level of ambition for climate financing, the Commission has also proposed that at least 25% of EU expenditure across all EU programmes should contribute to climate objectives. The provisional agreement is now subject to formal approval by the European Parliament and the Council. A press release is available online. (For more information: Enrico Brivio – Tel.: + 32 229 56172; Anna Kaisa-Itkonen – Tel.: +32 229 56186; Aikaterini Apostola – Tél.: +32 229 87624; Lynn Rietdorf – Tel.: +32 229 74959)

Energy Union: Commission adopts delegated act on sustainability criteria for biofuels as requested by the co-legislators

The Commission today adopts a delegated act on sustainability criteria for biofuels as requested by the European Parliament and Member States. Climate change is a serious concern for Europeans and the Commission is increasing efforts to reduce Greenhouse Gas emissions with the ultimate aims to become the first major economy to be climate neutral by 2050. The enhanced use of electricity produced from renewable sources including in the transport sector, is crucial for the decarbonisation of our economy. A new binding, EU-wide renewable energy target for 2030 of at least 32% was agreed between the Member States and the European Parliament in June 2018. It includes a review clause by 2023 for a possible upward revision of the EU level target. The Directive, already in force, includes a gradual reduction of the amount of certain types of biofuels for which a significant expansion of the production area into land with high-carbon stock is observed (so-called high Indirect Land-Use Change (ILUC) risk biofuels), to be counted towards the renewable energy targets. ILUC can occur when pasture or agricultural land previously destined for food and feed markets is diverted to biofuel production. In this case, food and feed demand still needs to be satisfied, which may lead to the extension of agriculture land into areas with high carbon stock such as forests, wetlands and peatlands. This implies land use change (by changing such areas into agricultural land) and may cause the release of greenhouse gas emissions (CO2 stored in trees and soil) that negates emission savings from the use of biofuels instead of fossil fuels. Acting on the clear request of the Co-legislators and in order to implement the new approach, the Commission has today adopted a delegated act. With today’s decision the Member States will still be able to use (and import) fuels included in the category of high ILUC-risk biofuels, but they will not be able to include these volumes when calculating the extent to which they have fulfilled their renewable targets. For further information see MEMO.(For more information: Anna-Kaisa Itkonen – Tel.: +32 229 56186; Lynn Rietdorf – Tel.: +32 229 74959)

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