EU makes world's biggest 'green recovery' pledge - but will it hit the mark?
(Reuters, 22 Jul 2020) One Green member of European Parliament says clear criteria are needed to ensure package is used to wean the continent off fossil fuels.
* Concerns over lack of specific rules on recovery spending
* Money provides "leverage," Von der Leyen tells Reuters
* Role of EU in backing natural gas projects under scrutiny
* EU Parliament facing calls to introduce stricter controls
Pledging a record sum of money to slow climate change is one thing. Spending it wisely is another.
After 90 hours of intense negotiations, European Union leaders reached a recovery deal on Tuesday that included devoting nearly 550 billion euros to green projects over the next seven years - the largest single climate pledge ever made.
The money represents a 30% share of a mammoth package, comprising a 1.074 trillion euro EU budget for 2021-27 and a 750 billion euro coronavirus recovery fund. Leaders also agreed that even those parts of the overall package not specifically earmarked for climate spending must "do no harm" to the EU's goal to become climate neutral by 2050.