Image source: Industry4Europe twitter’s account
The coalition Industry4Europe organized its plenary meeting in Brussels to discuss the role of industries in the European Green Deal.
On February 14th, Industry4Europe held its first plenary of the year to inform its members about the latest activities and this year’s priorities. The meeting saw the participation of BusinessEurope Deputy Director General Lucia Santos and DG CLIMA Director for Climate Strategy Artur Runge-Metzger.
Industries in Europe are getting more and more concerned about climate issues and CO2 emissions reduction. For Europe to become carbon neutral by 2050, EU companies must reconsider their role in the energy transition. And this should also be aligned with the upcoming EU Industrial strategy communication which the European Commission will propose in March 2020.
About the conference
During the plenary, BusinessEurope presented its report on EU-China trade relations. Despite the progress made over the last years (especially since joining the WTO), the Chinese market appears to become increasingly restrictive and government planned. The report focuses on the need to protect European companies, and calls for the implementation of market regulations and surveillance, as well as additional efforts from Member States to reach the Research & Development target (3% of the Member State’s GDP) by 2020.
The discussion touched also on the recently established European Parliament Intergroup on Sustainable, Long Term Investments and Competitive European Industry. The forum was officially launched by co-chairs Maria Graça Carvalho and Simona Bonafè on February 13th, and will contribute to the implementation of a sustainable EU industrial strategy and show the importance of the role of European industries in the energy transition.
The Commission’s perspective
Members of the coalition also had the chance to exchange their views on the Green Deal with DG CLIMA’s Director for climate strategy. Mr Runge-Metzger stressed that climate change already have and will keep on having consequences on European industries, and that companies must consider their carbon impact. The discussion touched upon future initiatives such as the renovation wave, the development of alternative fuels and the taxonomy for sustainable finance. Also within Horizon Europe, missions will focus on climate change and environmental protection. The European Social Fund will be revised and will have a dedicated budget for re-skilling of workforce from fossil fuels industries.
DG CLIMA is also looking into renewable energy applications like the use of excess heat from industrial processes, and the potential of energy storage development. Mr Runge-Metzger mentioned the carbon border mechanism and the fact that it should prevent the threat of carbon leakage without compromising the European competitiveness.
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Industry4Europe is a large coalition representing 153 members from the European industrial sector. Read more on the Industy4Europe joint paper on Industrial Strategy here