European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen presented the Green Deal Industrial Plan on Wednesday (1 February) in an effort by the EU to keep up with a worldwide race in subsidy schemes for green industries.
As the EU aims for climate neutrality by 2050, key industries such as the manufacturing of wind turbines, solar panels, and battery-electric vehicles must be ready to supply the necessary technologies to decarbonise the economy.
“We know that in the fight against climate change, most important is the net-zero industry,” von der Leyen said when presenting the plan.
Countries around the world are therefore boosting subsidy schemes for green industries, von der Leyen said, mentioning Japan, India, the UK, Canada, and the US Inflation Reduction Act.
“Let me be very clear on this one: We welcome this. This is good news,” von der Leyen said. “We have, since long, argued that the fight against climate change is a must.”
However, concerns have been raised that foreign subsidy schemes could encourage green industries to relocate production to other countries or build new factories outside Europe.
Against that backdrop, the Commission adopted a “Green Deal Industrial Plan” to ensure that the production capacity of key technologies in Europe will be increased.
“We know that in the next years, the shape of the net-zero economy and where it is located will be decided, and we want to be an important part of this net-zero industry that we need globally,” she added.
“Net-Zero Industry Act” to be proposed mid-march
To increase the European manufacturing capacity of green technologies, the Commission will propose a new “Net Zero Industry Act” by mid-March.
This, von der Leyen said, “will set targets for what we need until 2030 because there’s a simple equation: Only what gets measured gets done”.
The new law will “focus on the key technologies for the shift to net-zero”, the Commission chief said, adding it will “speed up permitting”, “incentivise multi-country projects”, and help with “cutting red tape”.
Industries that will be within the scope of the new law include “batteries, windmills, heat pumps, solar, electrolysers, carbon capture and storage technologies”, the document reads.