The Prince of Wales’s Corporate Leaders Group has penned a letter urging the European Union to ensure that the next EU budget post-2020 is aligned with Europe’s climate goals as written in the Paris Climate Agreement and backed by leaders across the region.
Only a week or so after European Union foreign affairs ministers called for greater ambition and restated their own commitment to leading the way on committing to the Paris Climate Agreement, EU corporate leaders have issued their own call for adherence to the Paris Climate Agreement, asking EU Heads of State or Government to ensure that the goals enshrined in the Agreement are mirrored in the next EU budget post-2020.
In a letter (PDF) penned by the Prince of Wales’s Corporate Leaders Group (CLG) in advance of upcoming EU negotiations on the Multiannual Financial Framework post 2020, this group of “cross-sectoral European business leaders” are urging European Council Members “to ensure the EU’s future finances are aligned with Europe’s climate goals and consistent with the Paris Agreement across all its programmes.” Specifically, the letter calls for the following:
- The EU’s future finances to be aligned with Europe’s climate goals and consistent with the Paris Agreement across all its programmes;
- Clarity on how new finances will bridge the gap in resources identified by the European Court of Auditor;
- A powerful signal for how the EU’s future growth and aspirations are seen in the world;
- Reassurance that the EU capitalises on future economic growth and supports businesses and the communities in which they operate;
- The Heads of Government to take the opportunity to back National Energy and Climate Plans with finance.
“How you shape the EU’s future finances will send a powerful signal for how the EU’s future growth and aspirations are seen in the world,” wrote the CLG. “Please consider how you will ensure that the EU capitalises on future economic growth and supports businesses and the communities in which they operate.
“We believe your discussions are especially important at a time when you will start to develop your National Energy and Climate Plans, giving you a genuine opportunity to back those plans with finance. We want to see clear signals from the EU that reinforce its climate leadership credentials and support future growth.”
The European Union works on a seven-year budget known as the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF), and according to Eliot Whittington, the acting Director of The Prince of Wales’s Corporate Leaders Group, “It has a way of directing investment to priority areas in a way that individual Member States alone cannot.”
The Informal Leaders’ meeting was held on February 23rd, at which point the European Commission presented various options and the potential financial consequences for a new long-term EU budget. On March 5th, 14 European Ministers of the Green Growth Group similarly sent a letter to the EU Commission asking that the long-term budget would be “climate-friendly.”
“The MFF for 2020 onwards is an opportunity to re-establish the EU’s leadership in tackling climate change, delivering the at least 20 per cent of EU funds – around EUR180 billion – promised for climate action,” Whittington said in a recent blog post. “It is an opportunity to show unity around climate commitments that cross budget headings. And it is an opportunity for European leaders be bold and make a net-zero carbon economy the new normal, embedding climate compatibility in all policies.”