Eighteenth Report of Session 2019–21 Contents

7Green Deal Investment Plan63

This EU document is politically important because:

  • the EU’s approach to cutting greenhouse gas emissions, and financing that transition, is of strategic interest to the UK in light of its Presidency of the next Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change; and
  • any changes to EU state aid rules to support green investment may be of direct relevance to Northern Ireland under the terms of the Ireland/Northern Ireland Protocol.

Action

  • Report to the House.
  • Draw to the attention of the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee; the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee; and the Environmental Audit Committee.

Overview

7.1Alongside its ‘European Green Deal’ vision, the Commission set out an investment plan to support the delivery of the Green Deal. The investment plan aims to utilise the EU budget and associated instruments to mobilise at least €1 trillion of private and public investment.

7.2The plan has three dimensions: financing (mobilising investment); enabling investment; and practical support for planning and executing projects.

7.3Specific ideas include:

7.4In his Explanatory Memorandum, the Chief Secretary to the Treasury (Steve Barclay MP) notes only that, while the UK will not participate in the next EU multiannual budget, there is a small number of programmes in which the UK and the EU may wish to continue working together, such as science and innovation. Any future participation will be subject to negotiations.

Assessment and action

7.5As the Minister notes, the United Kingdom has signalled interest in some continued participation in Union Programmes, such as the research programme (Horizon Europe). The Commission’s proposal to strengthen the link between the EU budget and the Green Deal is therefore of some relevance to the UK, although such an orientation is in line with UK public policy on climate change.

7.6While not mentioned by the Minister, it is also the case that amendments to the state aid rules — including the energy and environment state aid guidelines — are relevant to the UK as they will apply in Northern Ireland under the Ireland/Northern Ireland Protocol agreed as part of the Withdrawal Agreement.

7.7We note the Communication and consider it of political importance, but we raise no issues with the Minister. We draw it to the attention of the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee; the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee; and the Environmental Audit Committee.


63 Commission Communication: Sustainable Europe Investment Plan, European Green Deal Investment Plan; 5269/20, COM(20) 21; Legal base: —; Department: HM Treasury; Devolved Administrations: Consulted; ESC number: 41034.




Published: 29 July 2020