EU industry leaders want support for green shift

  • Market: Hydrogen, Natural gas
  • 20/02/24

A group of over 70 industry leaders today called for a competition-based deal to ensure the bloc's industry can continue competing globally while implementing the EU's green deal.

The green deal aims to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 55pc by 2030, compared with a 1990 baseline.

Among 10 points listed in a declaration signed in Antwerp, Belgium, industry leaders called for streamlined legislation, simplified state aid rules and a "new spirit of law-making" to incentivise investment as well as "cohesive" policy implementation. The signatories came from various sectors, including steel, chemicals, paper, mining, glass, metals, refineries, cement, fertilisers and industrial gases.

Energy costs in Europe are "too high to compete", driven not only by commodity prices, but also by regulatory charges, according to the signatories. The next European Commission leadership needs to prioritise new projects for "abundant and affordable low-carbon renewable and nuclear energy" as well as grid expansion for hydrogen and other renewables, according to industry leaders.

"Climate neutrality cannot be met without renewable liquid fuels and products," according to Liana Gouta, director-general of refiners' association FuelsEurope. "These renewable fuels and products should be produced in Europe." Gouta called for an EU strategy for the transition of liquid fuels and products to help shift industry from fossil fuels to renewable fuels and products.

"We want to avoid dependence on third countries, de-industrialisation," director-general of steel association Eurofer Axel Eggert said. Eggert also called for a robust trade policy to ensure a level playing field.

The declaration is timed ahead of EU elections in June that will see a newly-constituted European Parliament and new European Commission.


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