Brussels in brief, WW200904
EU to fund green technologies as economic and climate solutions
The European Commission has already emphasised the link between renewables and a strong economy by proposing to devote well over half a billion Euros to offshore wind energy in its Economic Recovery Plan, but it is not stopping there. Commissioner for Regional Policy Daniela Hübner announced in March that €105 billion would be invested through the EU Cohesion Policy in the “green economy”, including €4.8 billion for renewables, in order to boost jobs and sustainable growth in towns and cities across Europe.
“Support for the green economy and the environment goes hand-in-hand with the Cohesion Policy's objective to deliver sustainable growth, jobs and competitiveness. In a difficult financial climate, this investment will be instrumental in creating long-term employment and reviving local economies, as well as underpinning the EU's commitment to the fight against climate change”, Commissioner Hübner said.
The €105 billion sum represents over 30% of the regional policy budget for 2007-2013, and is nearly triple the amount allocated to green technologies in the previous budget period (2000-2006). It is a sign of the growing recognition that low carbon investments are crucial in tackling the twin challenges of economic instability and climate change.
The EU Recovery Plan is currently being debated in European Parliament and Council. The Parliament has suggested that unspent money be dedicated to renewables, a proposal supported by EWEA.