MEPs must allow full Parliament chance to support green recovery

Posted on 08 November 2020

115 MEP statement says no fossil fuels in EU funds
What’s happening and why does it matter?
The EU’s economic recovery fund is up for vote in the European Parliament. MEPs on the Economic Affairs and Budgets committees will jointly reach their position on the €672.5 billion pot on 9 November.

The recovery fund is a chance to reshape Europe’s economy, which is still largely based on polluting and unsustainable sectors. There is huge citizen support for creating a green, sustainable and socially just Europe. 

The Committees have proposed a 40% climate and biodiversity spending target, more ambitious than the Commission and Council, but still far from enough to fix the biodiversity crisis.

They have also failed to table any voting option that would explicitly exclude fossil fuels from the recovery fund - known as the Recovery and Resilience Facility or RRF – even though the Parliament’s Environment Committee supported fossil fuel exclusion in a recent ‘opinion’ vote.

Worryingly, the committees also want to secure a mandate to proceed straight to trilogue negotiations, thereby skipping the plenary vote. The plenary vote would be an opportunity for MEPs to try and improve the Parliament’s position, for example by tabling the exclusion of  fossil fuels. MEPs must reject this mandate or abstain to ensure there is a plenary stage, just as they did for the InvestEU regulation recently. 

Ahead of the vote, more than 115 MEPs have signed a cross-party statement to call for fossil fuels (including fossil gas) to be excluded from the RRF (and all EU funds).

Sébastien Godinot, Economist at WWF European Policy Office said:
"The Parliament as a whole needs to be allowed to show its support for a just and green recovery. It can do this by excluding fossil fuels and ensuring an ambitious biodiversity spending target. We call on MEPs voting on Monday to support a plenary vote on the recovery fund."

In more detail, what is WWF calling for?
- A separate ‘exclusion list’ of polluting activities, in particular fossil fuels, to explicitly say which sectors must not receive support.
- MEPs should set two separate spending targets for climate and nature so it is clear how much money will be available for climate action and for nature protection and restoration. In WWF’s view this should be 37% of the budget and recovery funds for climate and 10% for nature in each national Recovery and Resilience Plan. 
- The ‘do no harm’ green oath of the European Green Deal - as proposed by President Michel - to be tracked and implemented in a concrete way in the EU budget and recovery package, using EU taxonomy criteria. This should be part of the Parliament’s position.

Sébastien Godinot
Economist, WWF European Policy Office
+32 489 46 13 14

Sarah Azau
Media Manager, WWF European Policy Office
+32 473 57 31 37
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