Climate Action

Supporting climate action through the EU budget

Policy

To help achieve its climate goals, the EU has decided to integrate, or mainstream, climate action into its whole budget.

EU budget 2021-2027: Commission proposes to further strengthen climate action

In its communication of 2 May 2018, the Commission proposes to build on the positive experience with climate mainstreaming and further strengthen climate action in the next EU long-term budget.

“More broadly, in line with the Paris Agreement and the commitment to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, the Commission proposes to set a more ambitious goal for climate mainstreaming across all EU programmes, with a target of 25% of EU expenditure contributing to climate objectives.”

Climate Mainstreaming
contributing to climate change

20% of the Multiannual Financial Framework
2014-2020, EU 28 = € 206 billions

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25% of the Multiannual Financial Framework
2021-2027, EU 27 = € 320 billion

Combined increase = + € 114 billion

This increase in ambition is supported by Commission proposals to strengthen climate action in key areas, such as agriculture and rural development and external action, and increase dedicated funding for climate action under the LIFE programme.

The Commission published its proposals for individual funding programmes in May and June.

Factsheet: EU budget for the future – Sustainability, environment protection and fight against climate change

EU budget 2014-2020: Climate integrated into all spending areas

The EU has agreed to make at least 20% of EU expenditure climate-related in 2014-2020.

Climate change mitigation and adaptation has been integrated into all major EU spending programmes. Programmes under cohesion policy, agriculture, research and innovation and the Connecting Europe Facility currently account for more than 90% of EU climate-related spending.

Mid-term reviews and other evaluations of individual programmes take stock of the progress made and opportunities to further strengthen climate action.

Tracking progress towards the spending target

The EU is broadly on track towards the 20% target, but further efforts are needed. Based on the current trend, the climate-related spending under the 2014-2020 budget is projected to amount to 200 billion or 18.8% of the EU operational spending commitments.

Financing climate action - consolidated updated information on the 2014-2020 programming period
Source: Draft budget 2018, Statement of Estimates, page 101 onwards
(EUR million, commitment appropriations)
Programme2014-20172018-2020 estimatesTotal 2014-2020
2014201520162017201820192020
Total EU Budget118.054,4158.606,8151.498,4154.507,1156.623,4160.553,9164.880,11.064.724,0
Climate Change finance16.098,327.451,831.738,129.792,930.481,231.956,032.606,7200.124,8
Share of climate13,6%17,3%20,9%19,3%19,5%19,9%19,8%18,8%

Financing commitments are tracked and reported under the annual budget procedure.

The tracking is done using EU climate markers, which adapted from the ‘Rio markers’ developed by the OECD to provide quantified financial data for tracking development assistance.

The markers reflect the specific features of each policy area and assign a weighting to activities based on their contribution towards climate objectives: significant (100%), moderate (40%) or insignificant (0%). The assessment is based on the programme statements in the context of the annual budget procedure.

Around 80% of EU budget is managed by Member States. They report on climate spending under the five European structural and investment funds using an established methodology.

Options for strengthening the climate relevance of EU budget

The Commission considers a wide range of inputs when preparing its proposals for the next EU budget.

On climate mainstreaming, that includes:

Documentation

Studies

Useful documents