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EU climate deal unlikely without breakthrough on budget, envoy says
(Reuters, 7 Dec 2020) Eastern European nations are threatening to hold a climate target deal to ransom in spat over funding and other conditions.
European Union leaders are unlikely to strike a deal on a new emissions-cutting target for 2030 at a summit this week if they cannot also clinch an agreement on the bloc's next budget, a senior EU diplomat said on Monday.
Leaders will discuss a more ambitious 2030 EU climate target when they meet in Brussels on Thursday, but hopes of agreeing the goal have become mired in a dispute over the bloc's budget for 2021-2027, known as the MFF, which Poland and Hungary are threatening to veto over upholding democratic standards.
"It will not be possible ... (it is) difficult to see that it's going to happen if there is no agreement on MFF," the senior diplomat said. If leaders resolve the budget spat, then there is a "fair chance" they will reach a deal on the climate target, the diplomat said.
The climate and budget issues are interlinked. The EU has agreed that hundreds of billions of euros from its 1.8-billion-euro budget and attached COVID-19 recovery fund will be spent on helping countries cut greenhouse gas emissions.
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