Developments in Ukraine accelerate need for Social Climate Fund – MEP David Casa

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CDE News – Strasbourg

The aggressive invasion of Ukraine by the Russian Federation and the consequent European need to cut off its dependency on Russian gas has accelerated the need for a Social Climate Fund, MEP David Casa told CDE.News.

Casa, who was spoke to this portal in the margins of a European Parliament Plenary session currently underway in Strasbourg, is the EP’s rapporteur for this fund, which paves the way for more than €70 billion worth in social and climate investments,.

The Social Climate Fund will support Member States and EU citizens in investing in increased energy efficiency of buildings, the decarbonisation of heating and cooling of buildings, including the integration of energy from renewable sources, and granting improved access to zero- and low-emission mobility and transport.

With European political leaders agreeing to swiftly move away from Russian gas – which is seen as a key source of financing of Vladimir Putin’s war machine, the quick adoption of this Fund becomes more imperative, the PN MP says. “I am very pleased in the way the different political groupings and committees involved on this report have come together, proposed solutions and are ironing out the differences that exist to ensure that we move on with this Fund as swiftly as possible”, Casa explains.

The EPP MEP, who has recently foregone his role of Quaestor of the EP to allow fellow MEP Roberta Metsola to successfully contest the post of EP President, explained that in his role of rapporteur, the biggest challenge is to achieve a balance on the requests of the two committees working on this report, responsible for social affairs (of which he is a member) and the environment respectively.

A significant number of meetings and discussions with various stakeholders, including the different political groupings have already taken place, Casa adds, with the main challenge being that of finding the right balance between the right push for investments in alternative energy sources while at the same time considering the social element in a time where vulnerable families are struggling to make ends meet particularly with soaring energy prices. “I want to make sure that assistance reaches those who are most in need”, he adds.

Geography also plays an important role in these discussions, Casa notes, highlighting that investing in electric cars and charging points in cities is easier than in large remote, rural regions.

The Social Climate Fund forms part of ‘the Fit for 55’ package, a set of legislative proposals to meet the new EU objective of a minimum 55 % reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2030. The fit for 55 package is in turn part of the Commission’s European Green Deal, which aims to set the EU firmly on the path towards net zero GHG emissions (climate neutrality) by 2050.

Image Credit: David Casa Twitter page

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