More than 50 cities ask for direct access to EU recovery funds
A major building renovation programme will help the EU to meet its 2030 emissions reduction target
- October 16, 2020 13:00
More than 50 mayors, including Budapest’s Gergely Karácsony, have called on the European Union to raise its 2030 emission reduction targets and provide direct Covid-19 recovery funds to cities to help them achieve climate neutrality.
In a letter to the Presidents of the European Council and the European Commission, the mayors urge the European Union to undertake even bigger emission cuts in order to attain the global goal of limiting the average annual temperature increase to 1,5 degrees above pre-industrial levels in accordance with the Paris Agreement. The European Commission recently proposed that the current 40 percent target should be raised to 55 percent in order to achieve climate neutrality with greater certainty by 2050.
"We recognize the need to put Europe on a climate-neutral path that creates a future of a healthy, resilient and secure environment for all. It is time to review the EU's 2030 climate and energy policy goals by reducing emissions by at least 55 percent compared to 1990 levels, with binding effect on Member States," the signatories emphasized in their letter, quoted by MTI and portfolio.
Those cities which commit to a 65 percent reduction target over the next decade must receive direct funding under EU’s Covid-19 recovery plan, insist the mayors. They add that EU support and funding should be channelled where it is most needed - in European cities - to boost the transformative power of urban areas and their green and equitable regeneration.
The signatories specifically call for significant investments in public transport, green infrastructure and building renovations to facilitate the green transition in cities alongside their economic recovery. At the same time, financing the rehabilitation of fossil fuel-intensive sectors should be part of EU’s decarbonisation commitments, the European mayors write.
Ambitious building renovation programme
The mayors' letter comes on the heels of the European Commission’s announcement of a major building renovation programme open for member states. The aim is for the EU to meet its 2030 emissions reduction target by renovating up to 35 million European buildings and creating 160 000 green jobs.
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