European budget for climate security (Investing in our future)
|By Stephen Hale, with Stuart H Singleton-White|
|17 October 2007|
The post war European Project has helped to bring peace and prosperity to increasing numbers of European citizens. Now in the 21st century climate change threatens that very peace and prosperity in Europe and across the world. Europe has a critical role to play in leading the global response to this threat. To do so a step change in commitment is needed.
Future European Union expenditure is an essential element of Europe’s response. Additional public investment is required to tackle climate change and to secure the commitment of the emerging economies and the poorest countries for a global effort on the scale needed. The EU budget review is a critical opportunity to re-orient EU public investment and to show its citizens’ and the world that it means what it says.
This report sets out the essential elements of future spending at the EU level, with a total annual cost of €32 to €38 billion. With sufficient political will, this could largely be secured through reform of cohesion funds and spending on agricultural support and rural development. It would also be possible to raise comparable revenues by the auctioning of allowances in the next phase of the EU’s emission trading scheme, due to start in 2013. Europe’s leaders have clear political choices to make in relation to both their spending on climate change and the sources of these funds. These choices must be grasped. A radical rethink of EU public investment is an essential part of Europe’s global leadership on climate change. Only by meeting this test can the citizens and the EU and the world be confident that those leaders mean business.