Friday

28th Feb 2020

Poland and Germany get most from Green transition fund

  • Despite Warsaw's refusal to commit to the 2050 emissions-neutrality goal, Poland would receive the upper limit of the fund - fixed at €2bn (Photo: Bert Kaufmann)

Poland and Germany will receive the largest funding slice of the €7.5bn Just Transition Fund, according to a proposal sent by the European Commission to member states on Wednesday (15 January).

The long-awaited fund aims to mobilise €100bn between 2021 and 2027 to help coal-producing regions to move away from fossil fuels - especially those dependent on coal, lignite, peat or oil shale.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or join as a group

However, the Just Transition Fund and the whole investment plan of the commission depend on the the ongoing negotiations on the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF), which might not give the green light to the numbers presented by the commission, since this will require member states to raise their national contributions.

Despite Warsaw's refusal to commit to the 2050 emissions-neutrality goal, Poland would receive the upper limit of the fund, fixed at €2bn, while Germany is set to enjoy €877m.

Romania (€757m) and the Czech Republic (€581m) will also benefit the most from this new fund.

However, according to Greenpeace climate and energy adviser Sebastian Mang, "if this funding is meant to promote a green transition, it must only be available to governments that are committed to that transition and have a clear plan to ditch coal".

"If they want the cash, the likes of Poland and the Czech Republic will have to prove they are serious about tackling the climate emergency," he added.

France, which has been advocating for the EU to consider nuclear energy as "sustainable", could also get €402m from the fund - more than Spain (€307m) or Italy (€364m).

However, the transition fund explicitly excludes any support for fossil fuels - including financing the construction of nuclear plants.

Bulgaria and Greece, which are also fossil fuel-dependent regions with a high number of jobs in the coal sector (mines and power plants), will receive €458m and €294m respectively.

Luxembourg will enjoy the smallest portion of the fund (€4m), while the UK is not included in the calculation - as it is expected to leave the EU on 31 January.

"We will support our people and our regions that need to make bigger efforts in this transformation, to make sure that we leave no one behind," EU Commission president Ursula von der Leyen told MEPs on Tuesday after she announced the Sustainable Europe Investment Plan, which aims to generate at least €1 trillion of investment.

According to the commission, the allocation method is based on economic (greenhouse gas emissions, production of peat, production of oil shale), social criteria (employment in coal and carbon-intensive regions) and the GNI per capita.

Feature

Dutch case opens new era for climate-change litigation

Legal action related to climate change is set to grow considerably in the next few years - especially after a largely-overlooked ruling over Christmas by a Dutch court forced the government to reduce its emission by 25 percent by 2020.

Commission's €1 trillion bet on green deal financing

The European Commission unveiled on Tuesday its sustainable investment plan to put Europe on track to reach the 2050 emissions-neutrality goal - while helping coal-producing regions to move away from fossil fuels.

Analysis

German domestic turmoil prolongs EU leadership gap

A leadership contest is back on in German chancellor Angela Merkel's ruling CDU party - which could decide not only the centre-right's future but also Germany's European policy. Berlin has been absent from the EU and will likely remain so.

Opinion

Second-hand cars flaw in EU Green Deal

The moment Europe revels in its carbon-free transport system, most of the cars that emitted too much for EU standards will still be driving around for years somewhere else in the world.

What will Brexit mean for climate action in EU and UK?

The UK is leaving the EU after playing a key role in climate action - just as COP26 comes to Glasgow. With so many policy negotiations ahead, a split between London and Brussels post-Brexit could undermine the 2050 emissions-neutrality goal.

Timmermans: EU climate law will 'discipline' rogue states

The first EU-wide climate law will be a "disciplining" exercise to implement the Green Deal - although the Polish climate minister Michal Kurtyka warned the EU Commission about the social cost of delivering the green transition.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersScottish parliament seeks closer collaboration with the Nordic Council
  2. UNESDAFrom Linear to Circular – check out UNESDA's new blog
  3. Nordic Council of Ministers40 years of experience have proven its point: Sustainable financing actually works
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic and Baltic ministers paving the way for 5G in the region
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersEarmarked paternity leave – an effective way to change norms
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Climate Action Weeks in December

Latest News

  1. WHO on coronavirus in Europe: 'be prepared'
  2. Frontex hits activist pair with €24,000 legal bill
  3. Turkish jets keep violating Greek airspace
  4. 'Fragmented' Slovakia goes to polls amid corruption woes
  5. EU development policy needs a fresh start
  6. EU critical of China on Swedish dissident publisher
  7. NGOs urge EU to tackle meat consumption 'problem'
  8. Coronavirus: voices from a quarantined Italian town

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us