Climate Change

Climate spending from EU’s 2014-2020 budget was far lower than reported

Court of Auditors report climate action eu budget

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June 2, 2022

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Published:

June 2, 2022

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The European Union has not reached its target of spending at least 20% of its 2014-2020 budget on climate action, the European Court of Auditors (ECA) said in a report.

The European Commission has reported that the EU met the 20% climate spending target by spending EUR 216 billion on climate action.

However, the ECA found that the entire sum was not relevant to climate action and that the amount was lower – EUR 144 billion, equivalent to a 13% share. The auditors also warned of the risk that planned or committed amounts may not be spent, saying it could further lower report climate spending.

Climate spending was the most overstated in agriculture

The main areas of EU climate spending are agriculture, infrastructure, and cohesion. According to the report, climate spending was the most overstated in agriculture, by almost EUR 60 billion. The commission reported that 26% of EU agricultural funding was climate-relevant, about half of the EU’s total climate spending.

But auditors said greenhouse gas emissions from farming in the EU have not decreased since 2010, the report reads.

The auditors also pointed to reliability issues in the commission’s reporting for the 2021-2027 period, when the EU’s new climate spending target will rise to 30%.

Elvinger: Addressing climate change is a key priority for the EU

“Addressing climate change is a key priority for the EU, which has set itself challenging climate and energy objectives,” said Joëlle Elvinger, the ECA member who led the audit.

The court revealed that not all the reported climate-related spending under the EU budget was actually relevant to climate action, she added.

According to the report, the auditors prepared several recommendations to overcome climate spending issues in the 2014-2020 EU budget.

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