Among the many challenges that face Europe in 2010, there are none more pressing than the twin tasks of securing a stable climate and moving to a low-carbon economy.
Now, a reform of the EU budget matters deeply for the pursuit of a low-carbon economy. There is arguably no policy lever as important as the EU budget for setting the direction of EU action.
Therefore, successful action on climate change is a necessity to meet common goals in the new decade.
A concerted approach that tackles the challenges of EU budget reform and mitigating climate change together will of course be difficult, but is far more likely to succeed than any disconnected attempts to deal with these challenges separately. There is a real opportunity to develop a positive, mutually reinforcing dynamic between these two agendas. Movement on the EU budget will help unlock a low-carbon Europe, while the continuing pressure for action on climate change can create the momentum required for budget reform. Furthermore, the focus on climate change can in turn significantly improve the prospects for budget reform, providing political impetus and leveraging the economic resources required to kickstart a new post-crisis era of sustainable growth and job creation.
Edited extract from the introduction.