EU Unveils Trillion-Euro Plan To Become Carbon-Neutral By 2050
The European Commission unveiled details of its Sustainable Europe Investment Plan, which seeks to mobilize investment of €1 trillion over 10 years to finance the European Green Deal, according to Euractiv.
The “Green Deal” is an ambitious restructuring of Europe’s economy, transport, and energy sectors which hopes to turn the EU into a global leader on the clean technologies that will shape the coming decades.
One of the main problems that the EU faces is how to address coal-dependent regions, such as Poland, the Czech Republic, and part of Germany.
The European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen proposed a Just Transition Mechanism which would make up to €100 billion a year available to be invested into clean technologies.
In order to be eligible for the funds, countries will need to propose territorial just transition plans which stay in line with the bloc’s climate goals, that will be reviewed by the European Commission.
“We can’t afford the money from the Mechanism ending up in the wrong pockets,” said Raphael Hanteaux, a clean energy campaigner at CEE Bankwatch Network, a green NGO.
“Clear and strict criteria must be established and adhered to so as to ensure that this money is used for the purpose for which it is intended: to alleviate the economic and social impacts of the transition away from fossil fuels for the most vulnerable communities,” Hanteaux said.
France champions atomic power as a low-carbon energy source which can help abate climate emissions, but the Commission document excludes transition fund money to finance the construction of nuclear power plants. The broader question of whether nuclear energy is a viable option for securing climate neutrality remains open for debate.