Following a two day European Council Summit on the EU Budget, which covers the 2014-2020 period, EU Commissioner for Climate Action, Connie Hedegaard tweeted: “This is really a new way of thinking: climate mainstreaming in concrete numbers, not just words. 20% of all EU spending”.

She also tweeted that the agreement was a “historic step” for climate action.

However, environmental groups are still sceptical over the EU’s commitment to climate change, despite the announcement, claiming that EU leaders will be sacrificing the environment, sustainable farming or overseas aid.

Director of the WWF European Policy Office, Tony Long, said: “While a commitment has been made to ensure 20% of the budget will go to climate change mitigation, there is no detail on how this aspirational measure will be implemented.

“Heads of States and governments have failed to show any true leadership and have behaved more like “bean counters” squabbling over narrow national interests at the expense of common European priorities.”

“Instead of tackling issues that matter to the European public like the creation of green jobs, sustainable farming, environment or overseas development funding, they have agreed on a backward looking budget.”

Leigh Stringer

Action inspires action. Stay ahead of the curve with sustainability and energy newsletters from edie