Saturday

17th Apr 2021

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

Become an expert on Europe

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

... or subscribe 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.

News in Brief

  1. EU postpones decision on labelling gas 'sustainable'
  2. MEPs call for mass surveillance ban in EU public spaces
  3. Greek and Turkish ministers trade jibes in Ankara
  4. Biden repeats opposition to Russia-Germany pipeline
  5. Navalny in danger, letter warns EU foreign ministers
  6. Lithuania keen to use Denmark's AstraZeneca vaccines
  7. Gas plants largest source of power-sector emissions
  8. Study: Higher risk of blood clots from Covid than vaccines

EU faces long wait for full vaccine supplies

The EU is still several months away from having enough vaccines to inoculate its 450 million people, with Pfizer and BioNTech, its principle suppliers, aiming for September for delivery targets.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersDigitalisation can help us pick up the green pace
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersCOVID19 is a wake-up call in the fight against antibiotic resistance
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersThe Nordic Region can and should play a leading role in Europe’s digital development
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Council to host EU webinars on energy, digitalisation and antibiotic resistance
  5. UNESDAEU Code of Conduct can showcase PPPs delivering healthier more sustainable society
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersWomen benefit in the digitalised labour market

Latest News

  1. US rejects Slovenia-linked plan to break up Bosnia
  2. Ukraine urges Borrell to visit Russia front line
  3. Could US sanctions hit Russia vaccine sales to EU?
  4. Polish court pushes out critical ombudsman
  5. Political crises in Romania and Bulgaria amid third wave
  6. Von der Leyen's summer plans undisclosed, after Ukraine snub
  7. Over a million EU citizens back farm-animal cage ban
  8. Three options for West on Putin's Ukraine build-up

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us