- MEPs call for a socially fair transition towards climate neutrality
- Investments in energy efficiency, decarbonisation, sustainable transport
- National “Social Climate Plans” to address energy and mobility poverty
Parliament backs setting up a new fund to help vulnerable citizens cope with the increased costs of the energy transition.
In a plenary vote on Wednesday, MEPs adopted their position on the Commission proposal to establish a Social Climate Fund (SCF) with 479 votes in favour, 103 against and 48 abstentions.
The adopted text, which constitutes Parliament’s negotiation mandate with member states, underlines that the fund will benefit households, micro-enterprises and transport users that are vulnerable and particularly affected by the impact of the transition towards climate neutrality. The fund would complement member states’ financial resources in two directions:
- Temporary direct income support measures (such as a reduction in energy taxes and fees) to tackle the increase in road transport and heating fuel prices;
- Long-lasting structural investments in buildings renovation, renewable energy and a shift from private to public transport, car-pooling and car-sharing and using active modes of transport to get around, such as cycling. Measures may include fiscal incentives, vouchers, subsidies or zero-interest loans.
The financial envelope of the fund is an estimation of the amount generated by 25% of the expected revenues linked to the inclusion of commercial road transport and buildings in the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS), complemented by revenues from auctioning 150 million additional ETS allowances. For the period until 2027, the total amount is estimated by Parliament at 16,39 billion EUR, with the possibility to reach a total of 72 billion EUR by 2032 in light of next EU budget negotiations and a future inclusion private buildings and road transport into the ETS.
More details on Parliament’s position are available here.
Co-rapporteur Esther de LANGE (EPP, NL) said: “The energy transition should not become a transition for the 'happy few'. That’s why we have ensured that the money from the fund actually reaches people who need the most support in the transition. Measures include, for instance, vouchers for the vulnerable to insulate their homes and developing a second-hand electric car market.”
Co-rapporteur David CASA (EPP, MT) said: "Europe’s climate efforts cannot leave anyone behind, which is why the Social Climate Fund will act as the ‘social safety net’ during the transition toward climate neutrality. Reducing energy consumption and improving energy efficiency are among the fund’s aims, thereby reducing emissions. Billions will be invested in households and micro-enterprises to make our societies more climate-proof."
MEPs are now ready to start negotiations with EU member states.
The Social Climate Fund is part of the “Fit for 55 in 2030 package”, which is the EU’s plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% by 2030 compared to 1990 levels in line with the European Climate Law.