13 Oct 2023, 13:26
Sören Amelang

EU plan for scaling up green technologies lacks focus and funding - German NGOs

Clean Energy Wire

The EU’s proposed strategy for scaling up energy transition technologies would soften environmental standards across the board, is too broad in scope, and also lacks the necessary funding, according to German environmental NGOs. “The proposal is not sufficiently limited to truly clean industries and sustainable strategies,” said Florian Schöne, the head of environmental umbrella organisation DNR. He added that the European Commission’s proposal for a Net-Zero Industry Act (NZIA) needed a clearer focus to “give a real push to renewable, climate neutral, nature-friendly, affordable and proven technologies.” The EU should provide clear and balanced measures to speed up the rollout of key technologies “instead of softening environmental standards across the board,” DNR said in a press release, adding that stricter requirements for sustainable public procurement are also necessary. “In addition, much more funds are needed to finance climate neutrality, which is still far too neglected in the current proposal. Instead of providing fresh money, funds are diverted from existing EU pots.”

The European Commission in February presented a policy package to “strengthen the competitiveness, attract investments in the net-zero industrial base and in green industrial innovation,” and the NZIA is a key element. It aims to scale up manufacturing of clean technologies in the EU and make sure the Union is well-equipped for the clean energy transition, according to the Commission. The Net-Zero Industry Act defines “strategic net-zero technologies,” such as solar and wind power, batteries, fuel cells and carbon capture and storage (CCS), and includes targets for domestic manufacturing.  

But the proposal doesn’t spell out how production itself is to become climate neutral and compatible with other environmental targets, according to a position paper by Friends of the Earth Germany (BUND), Environmental Action Germany (DUH), Germanwatch, the Nature and Biodiversity Conservation Union (NABU) and WWF. It also misses central strategies for achieving climate neutrality, such as a circular economy and the consistent reduction of resource consumption, the NGOs said, adding that they also “strongly criticise” the classification of CCS as a strategic net-zero technology and the inclusion of a volume target for storage capacities. “Due to the possible incomplete CO2 capture at industrial chimneys, the enormous energy consumption, remaining residual risks in the landfilling of CO2 as well as lock-in effects, it is always preferable to avoid emissions,” the paper said.

All texts created by the Clean Energy Wire are available under a “Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Licence (CC BY 4.0)” . They can be copied, shared and made publicly accessible by users so long as they give appropriate credit, provide a link to the license, and indicate if changes were made.
« previous news next news »


Researching a story? Drop CLEW a line or give us a call for background material and contacts.

Get support

+49 30 62858 497

Journalism for the energy transition

Get our Newsletter
Join our Network
Find an interviewee