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A possible €23 billion of Regional Funds to support the EU's low carbon economy


A possible €23 billion of Regional Funds to support the EU's low carbon economy

To mark European Sustainable Energy Week, Commissioner for Regional Policy Johannes Hahn gave a speech at the European Parliament highlighting the key role of Regional Policy for investing in energy efficiency or renewable sources of energy: "For this period, € 10 billion of EU Regional Funds are available for energy efficiency and renewable energy – for the next it is likely to  at least double" he said.

Commissioner Hahn added that if the current deal on the Multiannual Financial Framework and the reforms to the policy, now being negotiated, also hold the figure could be as high as €23 billion for 2014-20. "In this respect, Regional policy makes a significant contribution to increasing EU competitiveness and ensuring a stable energy supply in Europe. We finance projects promoting the production and distribution of energy from renewable sources and innovative technologies in this area as well as projects that improve energy efficiency and security of supply through smart gas and power distribution, and transmission systems".

The Commissioner also stressed that both more energy efficiency and renewable energy sources, both important targets of the Europe 2020 strategy have to be broken down into national, regional and local levels. He emphasized the crucial role of cities and the importance to take them on board while developing strategies and instruments for sustainable development.