Key legislation, being led by MEP David Casa, received broad support today in a crucial vote taken in the European Parliament.
The vote in the joint EMPL-ENVI Committee comes after months of negotiations to find compromises on key parts of the draft regulation on the Social Climate Fund, that will see millions invested in Maltese households over the next decade.
“I am pleased to see that the compromises we negotiated were accepted in their totality,” Casa said. “The feedback we received from colleagues was that our work on the Social Climate Fund greatly improved what the European Commission proposed. This view translated in practice to the support shown for the vote.”
Over 100 MEPs from the European Parliament’s EMPL and ENVI Committees voted on the proposals made by Casa and his co-rapporteur Esther de Lange in a draft report on the regulation submitted earlier this year.
Among the proposals accepted were the expanded support for green mobility, providing for financial support to incentivise access to private zero-emission vehicles and improved, affordable public transport.
“At a European level, this Fund delivers billions across the EU. Our work on this file strived to ensure that all regions benefit from relevant support – including Malta. So I am happy that we received overwhelming support for this file.
“In the case of Malta, while road transport emissions are the lowest in Europe, they are rising at among the highest rates. Investing in greener transport is a key priority if Malta is to reduce its emissions in the long-run.”
The Jacques Delors Institute described the Social Climate Fund as an unprecedented opportunity to support access to essential energy and mobility services4 for vulnerable citizens across the European Union (EU). It said that it would serve as a complement to the Just Transition Mechanism that primarily is dedicated to mitigating social and employment impacts in coal dependent regions.
European citizens now identify climate change as the single most serious problem facing the world. Over a quarter of Europeans (29%) chose either climate change (18%), deterioration of nature (7%) or health problems due to pollution (4%) as the single most serious problem we face.
93% of EU citizens see climate change as a serious problem and 78% see it as a very serious problem. 90% of respondents – and at least three quarters in each Member State – agree that greenhouse gas emissions should be reduced to a minimum while offsetting the remaining emissions, in order to make the EU economy climate-neutral by 2050.
Casa stressed that households and citizens could benefit from the proposed Fund. He cited solar panels, greener mobility, and insulation as only but a few examples of the support envisaged by the Fund.
Today’s vote confirms support for a swathe of proposals geared to reduce the impact of climate measures on citizens, and to “usher in cleaner technologies and practices to wane society off of fossil fuels.”
MEPs supported the proposals by Casa and de Lange in defining energy and mobility poverty on an EU level, which will result in a better targeting for the Fund and improved data collection and reporting. The joint committee also confirmed a stronger link between EU funding and rule of law commitments.
David Casa is the EMPL Rapporteur for the Social Climate Fund, a multi-billion euro fund that forms part of the Fit-For-55 Package, the European Union’s main vehicle to phase out fossil fuels and fight climate change.
Casa thanked his co-rapporteur and EPP Vice President Esther de Lange for the close cooperation shown throughout.