Like the rest of the world, the EU faces a climate emergency and we have eleven years to avert the crisis. Europe is responsible for playing its part in keeping global warming within 1.5°C as agreed in Paris and leading by example through decarbonizing its own economy by 2050 at the latest. At the same time, this transformation holds many opportunities for European regions and local communities – notably the scale of job creation around low cost renewable energies, energy efficiency, and nature restoration. The renewable energy sector alone employs around 1.2 million people in the EU, and is expected to continue to increase rapidly as the renewables share doubles by 2030. Decarbonisation will also lead to cleaner air, avoid many associated risks to human health and enhance energy security by reducing the EU’s import bills. By setting the right incentives for ecological and fair farming systems, the agro-ecological transformation could lead to better food for European citizens and new opportunities for rural regions.
The EU’s next budget cycle, the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF 2021-2027), will play a crucial role in addressing the climate emergency and enabling a socially just transition that leaves no one behind. The MFF and its operational programmes are one of the key EU levers to direct investments and make EU financial flows consistent with a pathway towards low-emission, climate-resilient development (as set out in Article
2.1.c of the Paris Agreement).