An unprecedented agreement was reached this evening between the European Parliament and the Council on the Just Transition Fund (JTF), totaling 17.5 billion euros. The JTF will be used to support regions in the EU that are most fuel-dependent in their transition to a net-zero-carbon economy, in order to limit the social and economic impact. The decision taken this evening states that no fossil fuel projects will be financed through the Fund in the upcoming seven-year financial period and that social infrastructure and job creation will be part of all projects that will be supported.
Pedro Marques MEP, S&D negotiator on the JTF, said:
“Today’s achievement is crucial for the future of the European Green Deal, and, by extension, for the future of the European Union. Our negotiating team has achieved significant progressive points in the JTF, putting people’s welfare at the core of the transition to a carbon neutral economy.
“The Green Rewarding Mechanism, an S&D initiative, is also an essential tool to ensure that our climate goals are achieved. And countries that have not committed to achieving climate neutrality will receive only half of the money until they officially commit. Also, countries that are already on track in terms of green investments will be encouraged to continue. EU funds will not be allocated only based on promises, but on concrete achievements, always keeping in mind the social dimension. This is what we mean by a European Green Deal with a red heart!”
Constanze Krehl MEP, S&D spokesperson on regional development, said:
“We managed to ensure that nobody is left behind in this transition to the green economy. Especially under the current circumstances, we cannot allow any more people to lose their income due to shifts in the economy, but we must support them through every step of this transition.
“Another key point we have achieved in negotiations is that social infrastructure projects can now be financed via the JTF. We are talking about facilities for elderly people, for children, training and education facilities that can be built and financed.”
Rovana Plumb MEP, S&D vice-president for regional development, said:
“The agreement on the JTF is historic and the first step to ensure a fair socio-economic transition towards climate neutrality by 2050 at the latest. We strengthened the social dimension throughout the negotiations and ensured a just process in all relevant areas, also for sustainable local mobility, sustainable tourism and low-emission district heating in most affected regions.”