The need for feasible and ambitious climate spending

    FILE PHOTO: Smoke billows from a fire in an area of the Amazon rainforest near Porto Velho, Rondonia State, Brazil, September 10, 2019. REUTERS/Bruno Kelly/File Photo/File Photo

    While welcoming the Sustainable Europe Investment Plan as central to the success of the green transition, I have told the plenary session of the European Parliament that it was essential to put sustainability at the heart of investment decisions.

    To achieve the goals set by the European Green Deal, the Investment Plan will mobilise at least €1 trillion in sustainable investments over the next decade. Part of the plan, the Just Transition Mechanism, will be targeted to a fair and just green transition and will mobilise at least €100 billion in investments over the period 2021-2027 to support workers and citizens of the regions most impacted by the transition. 

    In an explanation of vote on how to finance the European Green Deal, I said the plan for a Capital Markets Union – a dossier for which I am rapporteur for the Socialists and Democrats – emphasised that investors would be putting into practice environmental objectives as criteria for investments.

    not all countries are aligned or start from the same point.

    On the public side, governments are expected to build resilient and green infrastructures. Currently, the socio-economic impact of the pandemic has raised concerns that decarbonisation strategies could be jeopardised.

    The fact is that, independently from the current circumstances, not all countries are aligned or start from the same point. This is why providing support to public administrations is essential. Reaffirming a strong commitment to the Green Deal is not enough to deal with the reality of the implementation on the ground.

    The Just Transition Fund should continue being available to all regions, irrespective of their dependence on fossil fuels. I insist that no region should be punished because it could not afford to follow ambitious targets earlier on. One has to be realistic and accompany regions in the green transition, not penalise them.

    Similarly, while targets for climate spending should be ambitious and feasible, it is better to move forward incrementally than setting target spending that risks being impractical and deepens the existing divergences.