The multi-annual financial framework 2014-2020
The proposed Multiannual Financial Framework for 2014-2020is accompanied by a number of sector-specific proposals. The policy fiche on Climate Change outlines its mainstreaming into policies and funds for cohesion, energy, transport, research and innovation, agriculture, external relations, etc.
The Commission will adopt a Common Strategic Framework (CSF) for 5 European Structural and Investment Funds (ESI Funds):
- The Cohesion Fund and the Structural Fundsare financial tools set up to implement the regional policy of the European Union. They aim to reduce regional disparities in terms of income, wealth and opportunities.
- The Cohesion Fundwill among other support the shift towards a low-carbon economy in all sectors, climate change adaptation and risk prevention and management, and may pursue climate action in relation to transport and environmental investments.
There are two Structural Funds:
- The European Social Fund (ESF)will among other support the shift towards a low-carbon and climate-resilient economy through reform of education and training systems, adaptation of skills and qualifications, up-skilling of the labour force, and the creation of new jobs.
- The European Regional Development Fund (ERDF)will among other promote energy efficiency in small- and medium-sized enterprises, housing and public buildings; production and distribution of renewable energy; low-carbon strategies for urban areas; and resilience to climate change and extreme weather events. Furthermore, the ERDF will support European Territorial Cooperation (ETC), for example cross-border co-operation between Member States, including on climate action.
The Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) is a core policy area of the EU and pursues the objective to ensure a fair standard of living for farmers and to provide a stable and safe food supply at affordable prices for consumers. The CAP's budget is spent in 3 different ways:(1) income support for farmers (direct payments), (2) rural development and (3) market support. The first and third (Pillar I) are managed by the EU through the European Agricultural Guarantee Fund (EAGF), whereas the second (Pillar II) is financed under shared management with the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) and is therefore one of the 5 ESI funds.
- The European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD)will among other support climate action in relation to forest area development, establishment of agro-forestry systems, investments improving the resilience and environmental value of forest ecosystems, organic farming, Natura 2000 and Water management.
Finally, climate change is further mainstreamed into Maritime and Fisheries policy:
- The European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF)will among other promote climate action in relation to the energy efficiency of fishing vessels as well as energy audits and schemes, insurance of aquaculture stock with regard to extreme weather events, and the implementation of local development strategies including operations to mitigate climate change.
Research and development on climate change adaptation is financed through Horizon 2020, with 35% dedicated to climate-related research. The Council having approved a €63 billion budget for 2014-2020, the EU's new programme for research and innovation is part of the drive to create new growth and jobs in Europe. Over a third of its budget will be allocated to address major concerns shared by all Europeans such as climate change, developing sustainable transport and mobility, making renewable energy more affordable, ensuring food safety and security, or coping with the challenge of an ageing population.
The LIFE programme contributes to improving the implementation of EU environment and climate policy and legislation. The proposal for a new LIFE instrument, covering the period 2014-2020, includes a sub-programme for Climate Action, with a proposed allocation of €904.5 for the period. Another major change will be "integrated projects" aiming to improve the implementation of climate policy on a larger territorial scale and to ensure coordinated mobilisation of other EU, national and private funds.
The sub-programme for Climate Action covers the following priority areas:
- 'Climate Change Mitigation' will focus on reducing greenhouse gas emissions;
- 'Climate Change Adaptation' will focus on increasing resilience to climate change;
- 'Climate Governance and Information' will focus on increasing awareness, communication, cooperation and dissemination on climate mitigation and adaptation actions.
In the field of adaptation, LIFE will co-finance actions to support the development or implementation of national, regional and local adaptation strategies and lighthouse adaptation projects to address key cross-sectoral and cross-border projects, encouraging projects with a high innovation, demonstration, and transferability potential. Awareness raising on adaptation will also be promoted.
Climate adaptation is further mainstreamed into theEuropean Union Solidarity Fund (EUSF), which responds to major natural disasters and expresses European solidarity to disaster-stricken regions within Europe.
-  The CSF will provide clearer strategic direction to the programming process at the level of Member States and regions, and are therefore expected to contribute proportionally to the objective of having at least 20% climate related expenditure for the EU budget.
-  Horizon 2020 is the financial instrument that will combine all research and innovation funding currently provided through the Framework Programmes for Research and Technical Development, the innovation related activities of the Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme (CIP) and the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT).
-  LIFE is the EU’s financial instrument supporting environmental and nature conservation projects throughout the EU, as well as in some candidate, acceding and neighbouring countries. Since 1992, LIFE has co-financed some 3708 projects, contributing approximately €2.8 billion to the protection of the environment.