A leaked version of the European Commission’s green recovery plan suggests the bloc will focus on ramping up hydrogen production and expanding renewables capacity, as well as renovating Europe’s housing stock and decarbonizing transport systems, as its attempts to revive the bloc’s coronavirus-stricken economy.
A draft document of an official plan set to be published on 27 May sheds light on what types of low-carbon investments the EU intends to prioritize through its heavily-trailed green recovery plan, as it looks to reboot the economy while moving the continent closer to its climate goals.
The EU has been inundated with calls from businesses, investors, green groups, politicians, and citizens for it to engineer a green recovery from the economic crisis. Just last week, MEPs voted in favor of a resolution that called on the Commission to deliver a “massive €2tr” coronavirus recovery that would help Europe deliver on its aim to become the world’s first net-zero continent by mid-century. The overwhelming majority of MEPs demanded that all forthcoming investments must comply with the Paris Agreement, the UN Sustainable Development Goals, and Europe’s net-zero and biodiversity goals.
Under the leaked proposals – a working document that could change before they are published next week – the Commission revealed that improving the energy efficiency of Europe’s building stock was a priority, alongside dramatically ramping up hydrogen production, improving train services, and boosting sales of green vehicles.
The Commission revealed it intends to establish a €91bn European Renovation Financing Facility in order to boost the current rate of building renovations up from the current meager rate of one percent a year. Once blended with other sources of funding, the total pot for building renovations could reach around €350bn, the document notes.
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