Whether or not you agree with the climate policies or have doubts about the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report adopted last October by the United Nations, Europeans, whether leaders, entrepreneurs or ordinary citizens, can not ignore the policy framework proposed by the Commission and European Parliament, as it provides a basis for the work to be done by the new Commission President, Ursula von der Leyen. The framework—based on the budget proposal that was finalized in May 2017 and which was to be approved last May 9th at the Sibiu Summit (it was then delayed due to the European Parliament elections)—is not expected to change substantially, thus expressly dedicating 25 percent of the Commission’s budget and related structural funds for the period 2021-2027 to the battle for climate change, the environment and renewable energy. Behind this plan is an ambition, supported by the document approved in November 2018, for the European Union to play a leading role on these issues and be the first to achieve zero emissions. The new President reiterated this during her investiture speech in the European Parliament and the negotiations that preceded her “début” in the European Council, under the Romanian Presidency last June. She detailed policy outlines with a final document that dedicates a paragraph to “the importance of tackling climate change in line with the Union’s commitment to implement the Paris agreement and the UN’s sustainable development goals”.
Therefore “programs and instruments should contribute to the integration of climate actions and the achievement of the general objective of allocating (at least) 25 percent of budgetary expenditure.” What does this mean in daily practice for each Member State, which should have presented a general plan by December 2018?