To: Ministers of the General Affairs Council Dear Minister,

The co-signatories of this letter represent a broad group of one hundred and one businesses, civil society organisations, local authorities, think tanks and other organisations who are working together to support the EU’s commitment to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Climate Agreement objectives. We are writing to urge you to ensure that the next MFF is aligned with Europe’s climate and energy objectives, and is consistent with and contributes to the Paris Climate Agreement and Sustainable Development Goals across all programmes.

The recently published IPCC 1.5°C report shows that we have the scientific understanding, the technological capacity and the money to avoid the worst impacts of climate change. The only barrier is one of political will, which you and your colleagues can change.

Therefore, we ask you to:

  • Increase the climate action target to at least 40% of the whole EU Budget, with specific ex-ante binding targets per programme[1].
  • Climate proof the entire EU budget, and exclude spending on projects that are not in line with the Paris Climate Agreement, such as unabated fossil fuels infrastructure and environmentally harmful subsidies. Extend the exclusion criteria on fossil fuels in the Cohesion Fund programme proposal to all fossil fuel investment and apply these across all programmes.
  • Include Energy Efficiency First as a mandatory assessment tool in all planning and preparation of programmes and projects, similar to the provisions in the Regulation on the Governance of the Energy Union.
  • Improve the performance and result orientation of climate action. Take into account the recommendations by the European Court of Auditors on the climate tracking methodology, differentiate between mitigation and adaptation measures, and avoid overestimation.
  • Align financial flows and fiscal incentives to a low carbon pathway as committed to under the Paris Climate Agreement. Align the National Energy and Climate Plans with financing strategies under the EU Budget[2], and incentivise climate action through higher budget allocation and better financial conditions.
  • Provide support for a just transition to a low carbon economy, in particular to support communities and workers in high-carbon regions highly depending on fossil fuels. We look forward to engaging with you on this very important matter.

 

We look forward to engaging with you on this very important matter.

 

[1] In the current proposal, binding targets on climate action are only to be found in ERDF, a share of the Rural Development Fund and part of InvestEU.

[2] Such as Partnership Agreements, long term renovation strategies, Connecting Europe Facility plans, InvestEU proposals and the CAP.

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