EU Council endorses €1.5bn public sector loan facility for energy transition


Another facet of the EU's proposed European Green Deal moved nearer implementation yesterday as the Council of Ministers agreed its position on a €1.5 billion public sector loan facility to help areas most affected by the shift away from fossil fuels.

The money would come out of the EU's budget for 2021-27 and would be added to €10 billion supplied by the European Investment Bank, which will offer a €25-30 billion loan facility to the public sector in the bloc's 27 member states. That credit line would form part of the proposed at-least-€100 billion Just Transition Fund outlined by European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen in January when she announced plans for a €1 trillion Green Deal warchest.

Before asking Germany, holder of the European Council's rotating presidency until the end of the year, to negotiate for the €1.5 billion loan facility in negotiations with the European Parliament, the council specified a ban on nuclear or fossil fuel projects receiving any of the money, in line with its position on the wider Just Transition Fund.

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The council, made up of representatives of each of the EU member state governments, also recommended recipients of the public sector credit line be permitted to receive support from other EU programs and services.

The proposal will next be put to the elected members of the European Parliament.

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