The European Environmental Bureau (EEB) warns that the EU budget proposal does not go far enough to bring down carbon emissions, reverse biodiversity loss or mainstream sustainability.

Yesterday, the European Commission has released its communication on the Multiannual Financial Framework 2021-2027 (MFF).

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker described the framework as an ‘opportunity to shape the future as a new, ambitious Union of 27’ however the EEB fears that the increased investment in climate measures will not meet the requirements of the Paris Agreement or pave the way for a sustainable future.

The European Environmental Bureau (EEB) is Europe’s largest network of environmental citizens’ organisations with around 140 organisations in more than 30 countries.

Patrick ten Brink, Director of EU Policy at the European Environmental Bureau (EEB) said that more needs to done to meet the challenges of climate change, biodiversity loss and sustainability.

“As EU taxpayers are asked to contribute more to the joint European project, it is essential that the EU budget delivers for all EU citizens – EU money must drive emission reductions to help tackle climate change, ensure net gains for biodiversity, catalyze environmentally progressive agriculture and must be systematically sustainability-proofed. This would address the public’s wishes and the needs of future generations,” he said.

On sustainability, Patrizia Heidegger, Director of Global Policies and Sustainability at the EEB said:

“This budget does little to mainstream sustainability. If we want Europe to progress towards more sustainability, we need more than a few ‘key strategic investments’ foreseen in the current proposal. The EEB demands that all of the EU’s public spending is oriented towards meeting the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) rather than supporting sustainable development through scattered programmes. Most importantly, the new MFF must exclude all contradictory subsidies and non-sustainable spending such as support for fossil fuels”.

Bérénice Dupeux, Policy Officer for Agriculture at the EEB, add:

“Shockingly today’s Commission budget proposal defends the farming status quo where billions are poured into payments that prop up an environmentally-destructive farming model. If the Commission is serious about increasing environmental and climate ambition in the next EU budget it can’t give EU countries a free pass to sidestep environmental accountability. At least half of the farming pot must be ring-fenced off for environment and climate protection.”

On climate, Roland Joebstl, Policy Officer for Energy and Climate at the EEB, said:

“An increase of climate spending does not fix a budget that, overall, still fails to be carbon neutral. The continued spending on gas is just one example; we need a Paris-compatible budget.”

Senior Policy Officer for Water and Biodiversity Sergiy Moroz, said:

“It’s a positive signal that the LIFE fund – the only direct source of EU environmental and climate funding – has been increased but if EU is serious about halting biodiversity loss, the funding allocated to nature must further increase significantly.”