Experts from the EU’s energy intensive industries have developed a series of recommendations for implementing climate neutrality by 2050.
The expert group comprises representatives of 11 industry sectors which are collectively responsible for more than half of the EU’s total industrial energy consumption. The policy framework they have developed for reducing the climate impact of Europe’s energy intensive industries will be taken into account in the formation of European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen’s European Green Deal, which aims to make the EU the world’s first climate neutral continent.
The experts, representing energy intensive industries such as ceramics, glass and steel production, identified the need to ensure a ‘just transition’ so that workers are not negatively impacted by climate friendly changes to policies. Their recommendations, designed to provide the necessary market signals to attract new investment and boost confidence in the future of sustainable industry, include:
- Developing large scale pilots for sustainable technology innovations, to be supported with funding from the EU and private investors, with the goal of accelerating their progress towards the open market;
- Creating and developing markets for products which are climate neutral or circular through strategies such as the judicious use of public procurement to prioritise sustainable goods and services, as well as ensuring consumers are sufficiently well informed to make sustainable choices;
- Accelerating the transition to sustainable sources of energy and feedstock and promoting the principle of ‘energy efficiency first’; and
- Establishing an observatory to monitor industrial transition to climate neutral and sustainable methods.
Commissioner Elżbieta Bieńkowska, responsible for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs, said: “EU industries are our partners in achieving climate and circularity objectives and I congratulate them for their commitment. A climate neutral economy is not only a must for future generations. It also represents immense opportunities in terms of innovation, economic growth and job creation.”