Climate Change and the EU Budget 2021-2027

In general, there is a widespread dissatisfaction with the present system of EU funding for climate, especially in net recipient countries. While there has been some important climate spending, a substantial part of EU money has been spent inefficiently and wastefully, and, in many cases, has even supported environmentally harmful investments.

A European Green Deal requires a green EU budget and it is essential that we make use of the last windows of opportunity to strengthen climate performance of the budget that can help catalyse climate action funding in Member States and leverage private investments needed. The next MFF must be used to invest in the future, decarbonize our economy, while ensuring a just transition.

There is an urgent need for a better climate performance of the next MFF (2021-2027). The overarching objective of “making finance flows consistent with a pathway towards low greenhouse gas emissions and climate-resilient development" has to be anchored in all relevant processes, documents, agreements, strategies and plans. The next MFF is the last investment cycle to change course. From the lessons from the past the following recommendations for the future can be drawn: do the good, ban the bad and avoid the ugly!

Product details
Date of Publication
October 2019
Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung European Union
Number of Pages
Language of publication
Table of contents

1 Purpose, methodologies and project context

2 The MFF and its relevance for climate change

2.1 The MFF
2.2 Policy Areas and Funds 
2.3 Climate Mainstreaming and Climate Proofing
2.4 The status of negotiation and timeline
2.5 Key issues
2.6 Berlin workshop outcomes and further readings

3 Past funding of the MFF and lessons to learn

3.1 Past Climate Funding (MFF 2014-2020)
3.2 Lessons to learn
3.3 Insights from the questionnaire
3.4 Berlin workshop outcomes, questionnaire responses and further readings

4 Future needs for a climate MFF

4.1 Investment needs estimates
4.2 Renewable energy investments
4.3 Energy efficiency investments
4.4 Priorities and recommendations for future EU funding
4.5 Berlin workshop outcomes, questionnaire responses and further readings

5 Operationalizing the MFF: aligning strategies, anchoring climate action, linkages to NECPs

5.1 Public Participation in the Programming Process
5.2 MFF and NECPs
5.3 Conditionalities
5.4 Berlin workshop outcomes, questionnaire responses and further readings

6 Public Participation

6.1 Berlin workshop outcomes and further readings

7 Conclusions and Recommendations