Written by Alessandro D’Alfonso,
The von der Leyen Commission launched the European Green Deal as the new growth strategy of the European Union (EU), with a view to promoting the transition to a climate-neutral economy by 2050. Confirming the importance of financial resources for such a major objective, its investment pillar was the first initiative of the strategy to be presented.
The European Green Deal Investment Plan, also known as the Sustainable Europe Investment Plan, aims to contribute to financing a sustainable transition, while supporting the regions and communities most exposed to its impact. By combining legislative and non-legislative initiatives, the plan addresses three aspects: 1) mobilising funding worth at least €1 trillion from the EU budget and other public and private sources over the next decade; 2) putting sustainability at the heart of investment decisions across all sectors; and 3) providing support to public administrations and project promoters to create a robust pipeline of sustainable projects.
The debate on the investment plan is interlinked with the ongoing negotiations on the EU’s 2021-2027 Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF), which requires the European Parliament’s consent and unanimity in the Council. Parliament, which is traditionally a strong advocate of climate and environmental objectives, has called for an ambitious MFF, with resources commensurate with the goal of facilitating a just transition to a carbon-neutral economy.
Commentators have identified both positive elements and possible weaknesses in the Commission’s plan, arguing that it is a step in the right direction but would provide only part of the resources needed to meet the current climate targets for 2030. The impact of the pandemic has raised concerns that decarbonisation strategies could be derailed. However, analysts and stakeholders generally agree on their continued relevance, arguing that green investments from public and private sources must play a central role in any economic recovery plan.
Read the complete briefing on ‘European Green Deal Investment Plan: Main elements and possible impact of the coronavirus pandemic‘ in the Think Tank pages of the European Parliament.