08 Feb 2023, 13:25
Carolina Kyllmann

Businesses, NGOs, think tanks call for quick design of EU Green Deal Industrial Plan

Clean Energy Wire

The European Union should go further in its proposal to counter the U.S.’s Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), more than 40 business organisations, companies, think tanks and NGOs said in an open letter to the EU heads of state. The “Green Deal Industrial Plan” that the European Commission proposed last week in a bid to enhance European industry competitiveness on the path to net-zero greenhouse gas emissions should be quickly improved to make it more effective and position the EU as leader in business sustainability and clean energy technology, the group said. “We urgently need more clarity on how the EU intends to position itself vis-à-vis global competitors in terms of industrial policy,” head of the Climate Economy Foundation Sabine Nallinger, who co-signed the letter, said. “Mitigating the high energy costs for industry is enormously important for maintaining our competitiveness. However, we must not lose sight of our climate policy ambitions,” she added.

The businesses call for simpler processes and faster allocation of funds, in addition to strengthening manufacturing industries, building the infrastructure for a climate-neutral economy and securing financing for the energy transition. The letter comes ahead of an extraordinary meeting of the European Commission on February 9 and 10, where heads of state will work out the details of the proposed policy package, to be presented in March. The European Commission’s plan is the first step in the EU’s process of formulating a comprehensive response to other regions’ industry subsidies packages, notably as the U.S.'s IRA. While funding is set to become a contentious issue between richer and poorer EU member states, think tanks and NGOs have criticised the plan for failing to sufficiently address questions of how to ensure a just transition, or the decarbonisation of heavy industries like steel or chemicals.

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