EU unveils €1 trillion green spending package

The European Union’s (EU) €1 trillion green investment plan could help finance innovative technologies that deliver on climate neutrality, according to industry body WindEurope.

The EU's Sustainable Europe Investment Plan is intended to underpin its European Green Deal, announced late last year

It plans to mobilise €1 trillion of investment over the next ten years to help reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the EU by at least 50% from 1990 levels by 2030.

Under its Sustainable Europe Investment Plan (SEIP), the EU would spend €503 billion on “climate- and environment-related objectives”, triggering €100 billion of investment from member states and around €400 billion from private and public sources.

The investment package is intended to realise the goals set out in the EU’s European Green Deal: halving GHG emissions from 1990 levels by 2030, before reaching carbon neutrality by 2050.

A power sector largely based on renewables, a rapid phase-out of coal and and decarbonisation of the gas sector would be crucial to achieving these targets, according to the European Green Deal unveiled in December.

The SEIP — the financial pillar of the Green Deal — also includes a €100 billion ‘just transition mechanism’ to help fossil-fuel intensive regions shift towards sustainable technologies.

Industry body WindEurope argued the wind power sector is already contributing to a “just transition”, citing a reskilling centre for coal miners in Romania and a similar facility being set up in Silesia, Poland.

It also argued that the new spending plans could help prompt funding for emerging technologies to help decarbonise Europe.

WindEurope CEO Giles Dickson added: “Wind is already delivering on headline projects for the European Green Deal, and wind’s share in Europe’s power mix will grow — it’s 14% today and the European Commission says it’ll be 50% in 2050. 

“We look forward to an easy-to-use ‘just transition mechanism’ that unlocks investments into projects quickly where they’re most needed. This will be key to ensure a fair and jobs-rich transition for all Europeans.”