Henrike Hahn, the Bavarian MEP for the Greens/EFA and rapporteur for the opinion on the Social Climate Fund in the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs, comments on the Draft Opinion to this regulation that she has tabled:
“The acute nature of the ongoing climate and environmental emergency, as well as the increase and global fluctuations in the price for fossil fuels disproportionally affect the most vulnerable households, low-income households, women, and people with disabilities, elderly people, or children.
I, therefore, welcome the proposal of the European Commission to establish the Social Climate Fund to address the social impacts of energy and transport poverty.
In my amendments to the Commission’s proposal, however, I advocate decoupling the Social Climate Fund from the entry into force of the emission trading system for the building and road transport sectors.
It is my view that the Social Climate Fund should be transformed from an instrument for ex-post compensation directly linked to the regressive social impact of this ETS2, into an instrument that can effectively address the root causes of energy poverty and transport poverty. Furthermore, the fund shall enter into force no later than 2024 and be financed from the revenues of the current or a reformed ETS1 and additional own resources.
The fund shall principally focus on long-term structural investments with a lasting impact to minimise the impact of any future increase of energy and fuel prices by reducing reliance on fossil fuels. Such investments should prioritize building renovation, the development of renewable energy sources and energy communities, capacity building as well as investing in cycling infrastructure and sustainable shared mobility services.
It is also crucial that the fund integrates a gender-sensitive approach throughout the design, preparation, and implementation of the Social Climate Plans and projects, given that women are disproportionately affected by energy poverty and transport poverty.
Finally, this regulation should ensure the full involvement and active engagement of all relevant stakeholders at the local level, beyond a formal consultation, to help identify solutions that are best suited to address local challenges on the ground and empower citizen-led projects and local communities.“
Please find my draft opinion here: Social Climate Fund – Draft Opinion.
My team and I are at your disposal for further information.