Wednesday

21st Feb 2024

Auditors: 'No sign' of enough funds to hit 2030 climate targets

  • The EU auditors warn that vague information in member states' climate plans provide 'little indication' that 2030 ambitious targets will translate into sufficient action (Photo: Andreas Gücklhorn)
Listen to article

Auditors warned on Monday (26 June) that EU member states' climate plans lack crucial information regarding investment requirements and funding sources necessary to achieve the EU's climate and energy targets for 2030.

The EU has agreed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 55 percent (compared to 1990 levels) by 2030. And the recently-updated REPowerEU plan, in turn, aims to achieve 40 percent of renewable energy share by the end of the decade.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Get the EU news that really matters

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

... or subscribe as a group

EU auditors noted these proposals, which further raise targets for 2030, require an increase in financing, which is currently not detectable.

EU countries agreed to spend at least 20 percent of their 2014-2020 EU budget on climate action — and later they decided that for the 2021-2027 EU budget at least 30 percent (about €87bn) should be used to finance the green transition.

But to reach the 2030 targets, the investment required has been estimated at around €1 trillion per year. Therefore, a significant portion of the necessary investment will need to be sourced from national and private funds.

"The private sector needs certainty and clarity. The fact that the targets are moving every year doesn't really help," a senior auditor told journalists during a press conference.

The EU auditors warned that vague information in member states' National Energy and Climate Plans provide "little indication" that these ambitious targets will translate into sufficient action.

"There is no information that sufficient financing will be made available to reach the 2030 targets, in particular from the private sector," reads the auditors' report.

Meanwhile, the auditors observed that the EU's achievement of its 2020 climate and energy targets was influenced, in part, by "external factors" such as the Covid-19 pandemic's lockdowns, which played a role in reducing emissions.

They noted that certain EU countries did not meet expectations in terms of their contributions and resorted to alternative methods — including emissions allocations or renewable energy shares from other member states that had surpassed their own targets.

Belgium, Ireland, France, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Slovenia, for example, did not meet their 2020 renewable targets based on their own efforts.

In their report, EU auditors said the "lack of transparency" in these flexibilities used by member states to reach a target makes it difficult for citizens and stakeholders to determine if these measures actually improve cost-effectiveness in achieving the targets.

"We need more transparency on the performance of the EU and its member states on their climate and energy actions," said Joëlle Elvinger, the EU Court of Auditors member in charge of the report.

EU auditors, meanwhile, also invite the bloc to better count its share of global emissions, including those stemming from trade and international aviation and shipping.

The lack of ambition of EU member states towards the 2030 energy efficiency target was also raised by EU auditors, who point out that the previous target for 2020 was already difficult to achieve.

EU climate body sets 2040 emissions target

The EU climate advisory board has recommended a net emissions-reduction target of at least 90 percent by 2040 (on 1990 levels) in order to deliver on the climate neutrality goal by 2050.

EU emissions down 24% on 1990 - but still off 2030 target

Emissions regulated under the EU's carbon market fell by 9.1 percent in 2019, although aviation emissions continued to increased. Meanwhile, the Covid-19 pandemic is expected to lead to "an unprecedented fall in emissions" in 2020.

France's Le Maire 'goes German' with austerity budget

The French government announced €10bn in further spending cuts. However, defence spending is set to increase significantly, up to €413bn from €295bn, while €400m was cut from a fund meant for renovating schools, carpooling infrastructure, and other environmental projects.

France's Le Maire 'goes German' with austerity budget

The French government announced €10bn in further spending cuts. However, defence spending is set to increase significantly, up to €413bn from €295bn, while €400m was cut from a fund meant for renovating schools, carpooling infrastructure, and other environmental projects.

Opinion

The elephant in the room at this weekend's African Union summit

Italy's offer to mobilise €5.5bn over the next years, overwhelmingly in already-allocated loans and guarantees, pales in comparison to the financing challenges faced by Africa. Only an EU-wide coordinated financial offer can credibly respond to African needs.

Latest News

  1. Russian oligarchs failed to get off EU blacklist
  2. Podcast: Navalny, Ian Bremmer and "more Europe"
  3. Only Palestinians paying thousands of dollars leave Gaza
  4. Ukraine refugees want to return home — but how?
  5. African leaders unveil continent-wide plan to buy medicines
  6. EU urban-rural divide not bridged by cohesion policy, report finds
  7. Impending Rafah disaster shows up politics of humanitarian aid
  8. Sweden heading into Nato, after Orbán-Kristersson deal

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersJoin the Nordic Food Systems Takeover at COP28
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersHow women and men are affected differently by climate policy
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersArtist Jessie Kleemann at Nordic pavilion during UN climate summit COP28
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersCOP28: Gathering Nordic and global experts to put food and health on the agenda
  5. Friedrich Naumann FoundationPoems of Liberty – Call for Submission “Human Rights in Inhume War”: 250€ honorary fee for selected poems
  6. World BankWorld Bank report: How to create a future where the rewards of technology benefit all levels of society?

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Georgia Ministry of Foreign AffairsThis autumn Europalia arts festival is all about GEORGIA!
  2. UNOPSFostering health system resilience in fragile and conflict-affected countries
  3. European Citizen's InitiativeThe European Commission launches the ‘ImagineEU’ competition for secondary school students in the EU.
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersThe Nordic Region is stepping up its efforts to reduce food waste
  5. UNOPSUNOPS begins works under EU-funded project to repair schools in Ukraine
  6. Georgia Ministry of Foreign AffairsGeorgia effectively prevents sanctions evasion against Russia – confirm EU, UK, USA

Join EUobserver

EU news that matters

Join us