'Action must accompany EU sustainability goals,' says Dutch Finance Minister

In a speech at the Bruegel Annual Meeting in Brussels on September 6, 2022, Dutch Finance Minister Sigrid Kaag highlighted the importance of public and private investment in climate mitigation, calling for direct action and funding to accompany the ambitious goals of governments and firms. 

Minister Kaag started her speech by highlighting the importance of common European climate policy, such as the Fit for 55 package that aims to align current laws with the 2030 and 2050 ambitions. She then continued to note the importance of EU funds, such as the Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF) which requires member states to spend 37% of funds on green measures, and that at least 30% of funding from the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) and the RRF together must contribute to climate goals.

However, Kaag emphasized the insufficiency of EU funds and called on member states to allocate sufficient funding for climate change mitigation, referencing the Dutch commitment of US$38 billion to the domestic energy transition from 2021-2031.

Minister Kaag also encouraged the financial sector to generate change in polluting industries through more sustainable and responsible investment. She likewise noted growing calls among stakeholders for transparency from banks, insurers, or pension funds as they adopt more sustainable practices. Moreover, the Minister emphasized the stabilizing impact of climate change mitigation for the sector itself.

Speech – Dutch Government