WWF launches ten point Paris Appeal to EU leaders ahead of budget summit
(Brussels 15th November)
Tony Long, Director of the European Policy Office
Ahead of next week’s EU leader’s summit on the 7-year EU budget framework, Chief Executives from all 17 of WWF’s European National and Programme Offices have issued a joint appeal to European leaders for the creation of a truly sustainable European Economy.
Next week’s meeting is being held to find a compromise EU budget for the 2014-2020 period. In the appeal WWF is asking for 10 principles to be adopted by the European Institutions if we are to have any chance of revitalising the ailing European Economy, injecting fresh optimism into the European project and galvanizing citizens around an environmentally and socially responsible vision of society.
The “Paris Appeal” was adopted as one of the conclusions of WWF France’s 6th Green Economy Forum held in September of this year. It has been formally endorsed by the WWF network.
Comments by Tony Long, Director of the WWF European Policy Office
“European Leaders must not forgo this opportunity to rebuild societies that provide the economic fundamentals necessary for sustainable recovery, the creation of new jobs in a green economy and addresses citizen’s demands for protection of the environment. So far we have failed dismally in achieving this goal of marrying economy and ecology. If the 10 measures we have sent to European Government leaders become the bedrock for change, we can see a Europe emerge from this crisis stronger and in better environmental health, ready to join other progressive governments in tackling issues like climate change and the loss of Nature.”
“EU Leaders at next week’s Budget Summit have an opportunity to lock in some of the core principles laid out in the Paris Appeal, especially in the area of Better spending.. WWF is not looking for an increase in the overall budget. Instead, we want support for negative EU subsidies like intensive agriculture and fossil fuels to stop and be replaced with environmentally sound options that can deliver for long-term food and energy security.”
THE PARIS APPEAL
1. Internalise external environmental costs in government and corporate economic decision making through the routine incorporation of monetised environmental pollution and resource depletion accounting in economic calculations;
2. Develop environmental and social well-being indicators other than GDP. These indicators should form the basis of policy formation and decision-making, including economic adjustment programmes for economically troubled states such as Greece and Portugal;
3. Reorient the European budget 2014-20 to put an end to environmentally harmful subsidies and redirect them towards sectors of the green economy (eco-innovation, energy and resource savings, renewable energy, sustainable building, low carbon vehicles, sustainable agriculture, etc.) that are more sustainable and create more jobs. At least 25% of the next European budget should be allocated to combating and adapting to climate change, and 15% should fund the protection of biodiversity and natural resources;
4. Radically reform the Common Agricultural Policy by strengthening the rural development “pillar”, half of which should be allocated to more sustainable agricultural practice, and significantly “greening” the production support “pillar” in an attempt to give it some greater legitimacy;
5. End public subsidies for high-carbon infrastructure such as air and road traffic, and instead provide support for low-carbon transport that satisfies wider environmental needs, avoids environmental damage through habitat fragmentation, and includes intelligent transport and public transport;
6. End fossil fuel subsidies and redirect them towards energy efficiency and renewable energy sources;
7. Increase funding for the EU funding programme for the environment, LIFE, to 1% of the next European budget for 2014-20 in particular to support biodiversity in Europe;
8. Strengthen rather than weaken environmental impact assessments, which are crucial to improving the efficiency of European projects and reducing the risk of accidents and negative impacts on the ground;
9. Tighten the EU’s emissions reduction target from 20% to 30% by 2020 compared to 1990 levels, and achieve energy efficiency goals as well as strengthening the European Union Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS);
10. Introduce a Financial Transaction Tax to place greater controls on the financial system and generate additional public funding for global public goods.
Contact: Philippe Carr, WWF European Policy Office,
Media & Communications,
WWF European Policy Office,
Tel: +32 476 25 68 79