2/8/13, "Climate Gets 20 Percent of Seven-Year European Budget," Environment News Service
"European heads of state and government have agreed to commit at least
20 percent of the entire European Union budget over the next seven
years to climate-related spending.
All-night negotiations in Brussels produced agreement among EU
leaders on budget proposals for the rest of the decade, from 2014-2020.
“Climate action objectives will represent at least 20% of EU spending in the period 2014-2020 and therefore be reflected in the appropriate
instruments to ensure that they contribute to strengthen energy
security, building a low-carbon, resource efficient and climate
resilient economy that will enhance Europe’s competitiveness and create
more and greener jobs,” the final agreement states. Leaders backed the first budget cuts in EU history, spearheaded by
the UK Prime Minister David Cameron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
Cameron’s plan to hold a referendum on Britain’s EU membership
strengthened the country’s negotiating stance.
The seven-year budget was agreed at 960 billion euros ($1.28
trillion). By comparison, the budget for the years 2007-2013 was 975.777
European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso said,
“Sustainability is a very important policy and indeed it’s a commitment
that we are keeping across policies. In this regard, the greening of
agricultural policy deserves to be mentioned, as for instance our
commitment to climate protection.”
“Today is an incredibly important day for Europe and for the fight
against climate change,” said Commissioner for Climate Action Connie
Hedegaard of Denmark. “This is a major step forward for our efforts to
handle the climate crisis.”
The 20 percent climate appropriation was first suggested by the European Commission, the EU’s executive branch of government.
“Rather than being parked in a corner of the EU budget, climate
action will now be integrated into all main spending areas – cohesion,
innovation, infrastructure, agriculture,” Hedegaard said. “And it underscores yet again the European leadership in the fight
against this crucial challenge. If all other major economies were to
make similar commitments, it would have a very significant impact,” she
“The steer from Europe’s political leaders is unequivocal: they want
to remain in front in the transition to a low carbon economy,” declared
Hedegaard. “And they are fully committed to align our common spending
with this political priority. This is good news from Europe!”
European leaders agreed to invest in interconnected transport, energy
and digital networks, saying they are an important element in boosting
Europe’s competitiveness in the medium and long term in a difficult
economic context, marked by slow growth and tight public budgets.
Council President Herman Van Rompuy said in a news conference today
that, while the budget must be leaner to reflect today’s financial
realities, “the focus is clearly on triggering new investments and on
developing transport, energy and ICT networks, including 30 billion
euros for “connecting Europe.”
Such investments in infrastructure are instrumental in allowing the
EU to meet its sustainable growth objectives outlined in the Europe 2020
Strategy and the EU’s “20-20-20″ objectives in the area of energy and
climate policy, the leaders agreed.
“This budget will allow Europe to keep engaging on vital global
issues, such as climate change,
nuclear safety, and development aid,”
said Van Rompuy.
Hedegaard said, “It is now up to all involved parties – including the
European Parliament – to ensure that the overall ambition is duly
reflected with clear targets and transparent measuring methods in all
the relevant policies and programmes, not least the Common Agricultural
The objectives of the Common Agricultural Policy, or CAP, will be
based on “sustainable growth” the leaders said. In addition to ensuring
food production, the CAP will “deliver specific environmental public
goods, improve the competitiveness of the agriculture and forestry
sectors promote the diversification of economic activity and quality of life in rural areas…” the framework document states. The greening of the Common Agricultural Policy’s overall
environmental performance will be “enhanced” through direct payments for
certain agricultural practices that are beneficial for the climate and
the environment that all farmers will have to follow, the leaders
A new 2.8 billion euro reserve to support farmers in case of major
crises affecting agricultural production or distribution is included in
But Europe’s largest coalition of grassroots environmental
organizations, the European Environmental Bureau, which represents more
than 140 NGOs, condemned the outcome as “a disgrace.”
EEB Secretary General Jeremy Wates said, “This is the worst of both
worlds: a smaller budget that is explicitly dedicated to keep pumping
money into Europe’s most wasteful and harmful policies and projects, in
particular the CAP.”
Expenditures for farm subsidies have gone up since the proposal in
November, said Wates. “Even more shocking, as part of this deal, the
funding for the CAP’s more progressive rural development component will
be effectively starved through the possibility of a whopping 25 percent
reverse modulation that allows Member States to put more funding back
into the harmful direct payments,” said Wates.
“The final blow to a green CAP reform, however, was dealt through an
agreement that Member States would be entirely free to decide how to
interpret what is meant by a green CAP, opening the door to an
unprecedented greenwashing operation,” Wates said.
“Heads of State and Government even went as far as to prescribe in
detail how to render the most important greening measures – the
allocation of Ecological Focus Areas at farm level – completely
meaningless, by stipulating this should not ‘require farmers to take any
land out of production,’” he said.
Wates warned, “Unless Heads of State and Government reject this deal we
will be urging the European Parliament to do so.”" via Real Science
News that doesn't receive the necessary attention.
Saturday, December 28, 2013
Minimum of $20 billion European taxpayer dollars guaranteed by EU to 'fight' excess CO2 that only exists in China, but well funded 'green' groups say impoverished taxpayers must give much more-ENS, Feb. 2013
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