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Market News

 February 08, 2012
Report calls on EU to redirect €1tr budget to boost green growth

 The European Commission has been urged to redirect some of its €1tr budget into green sectors such as sustainable transport and energy efficient construction, after a new report found that doing so could boost the number of green jobs by 320 per cent.

Six green groups, including WWF, Friends of the Earth and the European Environmental Bureau, this afternoon launched a report comparing how many jobs would be created if some of the bloc's budget was redirected from flagship Cohesion and Common Agricultural Policies towards green initiatives.

It concluded that job creation per Euro would increase by 320 per cent if the Commission stepped up planned investments in four green sectors: sustainable transport, energy efficient construction, upstream supplies and renewable energy.

It found that an annual investment of €14.75bn in green sectors, representing just 14 per of the total 2014 and 2020 budget, could sustain more than half a million jobs.

In comparison, it found that the €140bn expected annual investment in the CAP and the Cohesion Policy, representing 78 per of the total 2014 and 2020 budget, would create or sustain just over a million jobs.

The groups called on the Commission to set out how many jobs it expects the budget to create by 2020.

"This lack of information underlines the incoherence of EU promises and makes it impossible to gauge the real impact of current and the proposed budgetary investments," the report said.

"It is essential to gather good evidence to allow reliable information for the potential for job creation through investment in the green sector.

"How, then, can citizens assess whether the EU is indeed fulfilling its job promises, and which part of this promise should be reached by spending their taxpayers' money?"

In related news, British energy minister Charles Hendry has set out the agenda for the next Energy Council meeting, taking place in Brussels on 14 February.

The meeting will including discussions on plans to build pan-European energy infrastructure, and preparations for the Rio+20 UN Conference on Sustainable Development.