The EU Social Climate Fund: the potential to deliver more

Posted on 09 December 2021

The fund should support European citizens if climate measures lead to higher bills or other unfair impacts.
The EU has made a proposal for a Social Climate Fund (SCF). This is valued at €72.2 billion over the eight years from 2025 to 2032. 
 
The aim of the fund is to support European citizens should climate measures lead to higher bills or other unfair impacts. The SCF includes both compensation - meaning direct payments to citizens - and investment in climate measures such as insulating buildings.  
 
However, the proposed SCF contains a huge contradiction. The money it will contain is supposed to come from emissions trading in transport and buildings – a system known as the Emissions Trading 2 (ETS 2). 
 
This means that parts of the public money raised by the ETS 2 would go towards compensating for its potential negative impacts. 
 
What a Social Climate Fund and the ETS 2 money should instead be used for is wind and solar power, sustainable transport like cycling infrastructure, or energy efficiency measures - all of which would help deliver on the EU’s 2030 climate and energy targets. 

This would make the SCF itself into a driver of change in the sectors, rather than predominantly a safety net against the social risks from an ETS 2.  
 
The Social Climate Fund should be changed to ensure it provides time and support to help citizens support and get on board with the transition to a net-zero carbon Europe.   

Read the briefing
Anargyroi, a former coal mining village in Greece
© Marianna Plomariti / WWF-Greece