ClimateEnergyEnvironmentIndustryIssueResearch & Innovation

A Green Deal for a Sustainable & Competitive Industry

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      The European Commission will soon be presenting a strategy to put industry in Europe on the path to carbon neutrality by 2050. The Industrial strategy will be realised together with a Circular Economy Action Plan.

      Central in this approach is the need to improve the energy efficiency of industrial processes, as a major source of greenhouse gas emissions. In addition, promotion of new value chains and industries will be based on the circular economy principles.

      The Action Plan will be integrating the sustainable development strategies in our business models and integrating environmental and social concerns into all aspects of decision-making as well as staying economically healthy and prosperous.

      The Green Deal will have to be a growth strategy while reaching climate goals. Its industrial policy will therefore have to allow access to fast-growing markets while safeguarding jobs through innovation and new technologies.

      These developments need a governance process that needs to be up to the task: adjustments are to be made to monitor technological and industrial change as well as identify future emerging strategic value chains. This would not only meet the Green Deal goals, but would also make the Union less dependent on imports, and strengthen its strategic autonomy.

      Aside from having a major influence on the developments within in the European industrial playing field, the plans require significant levels of investment. The Sustainable Europe Investment Plan initiative, presented under the Green Deal, is expected to mobilize at least €1 trillion of sustainable investment over the next decade. In addition, the Just Transition Mechanism aims to mobilise at least €100 billion in investments to accommodate such changes and reach climate objectives.

      The digitalising our economy is of key importance in order to achieve the much needed industrial transformation. It is estimated that digitalisation has the potential to cut global CO2 emissions by 20%. We need to leverage the link between digital and circularity, with the use of AI and the European Data Space.

      The need for investment in digitalisation is also a clear example of the cross-sectoral aspect of these investments. The use of new technologies in the energy sector, as well as working on so-called “sector coupling” approach to further optimise our energy systems by better integrating renewables into our current energy mix through mobility, transport, industrial processes, and consumption.

      The cross-sectorial aspect of it all is also reflected in the EU Circular Economy Action Plan, which aims to make circularity, or a closed-loop economical system, the new norm.

      Lastly, energy-intensive industries especially, will need Commission support through extensive safeguards against global competition. Take the proposed carbon border adjustment mechanism, at European borders; This would make it possible to raise the cost of imported products, prevent environmental dumping avoid ‘carbon leakage’, and encourage our trading partners to align with European standards and norms, or to implement carbon pricing in their countries.

      This issue of The European Files encourages the EU to take a comprehensive approach and engage each sector of the economy as an opportunity for growth under this new economic model. It is up to Europe to lead the necessary negotiations to create a greener world. An ambitious Green Deal trade policy will help internationalise EU standards and regulations to influence production and investment patterns worldwide. We have the opportunity to meet the challenge of a new industrial approach based on resource efficiency, circularity and innovation while being competitive and low carbon; We can no longer afford to waste this chance.


      Laurent ULMANN


      • The European sustainable industry strategy aims for low carbon technological sovereignty
        Thierry Breton, Commissioner for Internal Market, European Commission
      • Climate neutral and green Europe has no alternative
        Tomislav Ćorić, Minister of Environment and Energy
      • The implementation of a strategy to decarbonise the economy
        Peter Altmaier, German’s Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy
      • Green taxes and just transition
        Katri Kulmuni, Finance Minister and Deputy Prime Minister of Finland
      • Accelerate the development and financing of electromobility and energy storage in Poland
        Michal Kurtyka, Polish Minister for Climate
      • How EU trade policy can enhance climate action
        Phil Hogan, Commissioner for Trade, European Commission
      • The sustainable purpose of insurance
        Gabriele Galateri di Genola, Chairman, Generali Group
      • Investing in the transformation to a modern and low-carbon economy
        Werner Hoyer, President of the European Investment Bank (EIB)
        Ambroise Fayolle, Vice President for innovation and development (EIB)
      • What are the strategic value chains for Europe?
        Christophe Grudler, MEP (Renew Europe Group), Member of the ITRE Committee
      • 2020 will be a trial year for a greener and fairer Europe – Green New Deal intergroup
        Aurore Lalucq, (S&D), chairwoman, the bureau of the intergroup, Green New Deal
        Alice Bah Kuhnke, (Greens / ALE), chairwoman,the bureau of the intergroup, Green New Deal
        Manon Aubry, (GUE / NGL), vice president, the bureau of the intergroup Green New Deal
        Samira Rafaela, (Renew), vice president, the bureau of the intergroup Green New Deal
        José Manuel Fernandes, (PPE), vice president, the bureau of the intergroup Green New Deal
      • Europe takes circularity to the mainstream: the change that the new Circular Economy Action Plan will bring
        Virginijus Sinkevičius, Commissioner for Environment, Oceans and Fisheries, European Commission
      • Towards a circular industrial strategy
        Simona Bonafé, MEP (S&D Group), Member of the ENVI Committee
      • EPR: a relevant and committed response to the challenges of packaging and paper circularity in Europe
        Jean Hornain, Director General of CITEO
      • A sustainable industry for a circular and climate neutral economy:
        Henna Virkkunen, MEP (EPP Group), Member of the ITRE Committee
      • When competitiveness meets sustainability, synergy thrives
        Miriam Dalli, MEP (S&D Group), Member of the ENVI Committee
      • Europe’s ecologic renaissance will be built upon its infrastructures
        Dominique Riquet, MEP (Renew Europe Group), Member of the TRAN Committee
      • Delivering the Green Deal in the European energy sector
        Kadri Simson, European Commissioner for Energy, European Commission
      • Green Deal: A Low Carbon Utility’s Perspective
        Jean-Bernard Levy, CEO of EDF Group
      • The Green New Deal as a lever for the competitiveness of our industrial system
        Cristian-Silviu Busoi, MEP (EPP Group), Chair of the ITRE Committe
      • In a low-carbon world, energy technologies deliver more than power: they are an essential part of sovereignty
        Philippe Knoche, CEO Orano
      • No green transformation without sector coupling
        Morten Helveg Petersen, MEP (Renew Europe Group), Vice-Chair of the ITRE Committee
      • Expanding the EU Emissions Trading Scheme
        Karima Delli, MEP (The Greens/EFA) Chair of the TRAN Committee
      • Climate neutrality for growth and jobs
        Mauro Petriccione, Director General – DG Climat Action, European Commission
      • A European Innovation policy shaped to deliver the European Green Deal
        Diego Pavia, CEO of InnoEnergy
      • Greening industry for good
        Ville Niinistö, MEP (Greens/ALE), Member of the ITRE Committee
      • Digital transformation cornerstone of a resource efficient and climate neutral transition
        Pilar Del Castillo, MEP (EPP Group), Member of the ITRE Committee
      • The European Green Deal: a digital perspective
        Stéphane Richard, Chairman of the GSMA and CEO of ORANGE
      • A Sustainable Industrial Policy
        Ismail Ertug, MEP (S&D Group), Member of the TRAN Committee, S&D-Vice-President for transformation, innovation and a strong digital Europe
      • The time has come for Regions to undertake ecological transition and adapt to climate change. The example of Lille Metropole (MEL) and its climate budget
        Bruno Cassette, Director General, Lille Metropole (MEL)
        Catherine Guieu, Deputy Director General
        Erwan Lemarchand, Director for Transitions, Energy and Climate
      • Using European “Horizon Europe” research funds to accelerate the ecological transition
        Marian-Jean Marinescu, MEP (EPP Group), Member of the TRAN Committee
      • An industrial strategy for sustainable growth
        Maria da Graça Carvalho, MEP (EPP Group), Member of the ITRE Committee, Co-President of the PE Intergroup on Long-term Investments and European Industrial Competitiveness.