1 May 2015

The Climate Challenge – How to reconcile climate objectives with industrial competitiveness

 

Climate change: this generation’s EU challenge

Although industrial activity is the main source of greenhouse gas emissions, industry and the fight against climate change are two sides of the same coin. EU policy-makers are therefore trying to integrate climate aspects in European economic policies. However, since the EU has been hit by an economic crisis in recent years, industry competitiveness has become ae major focus of EU institutions and the Member States.

 

What’s in the pipeline?

2015 is set to be a promising year for the EU climate policy.
The European Commission unveiled this year its plan for the creation of the Energy Union, which will aim to create a policy framework for the transition to a low-carbon economy and society. This follows the adoption in October 2014 of the 2030 climate package, which outlined the EU’s commitments in cutting emissions, increasing energy efficiency and further integrating renewable energies in the market.
The development of the next generation of renewables, electro-mobility and connecting grids are the next challenges for EU policy-makers, industries and citizens. With this in mind, new technologies will be crucial to achieving the EU’s ambition in the fight against climate change.
The translation of the new Energy Union and the 2030 climate package into concrete measures are much anticipated by both the industry and environmental organisations. Economic actors particularly hope that these improve the legal certainty of the future of climate policies, which, in turn, would boost investment in renewable energies and new technologies.
Finally, in December 2015, the United Nations will hold a Conference of the Parties on the fight against climate change in Paris (COP21). This Conference aims to provide a new international agreement to replace the Kyoto Protocol of 1999, and the EU has already put forward an ambitious pledge of 40% emissions reduction by 2030. All eyes are on Paris, from governments to NGOs and industry, as the final agreement will define the ambition of the international community in tackling climate mitigation.
The main challenge for EU decision makers is to ensure that climate policies and objectives do not affect European industry competitiveness. Industrial competitiveness needs to go hand in hand with the EU objectives of reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. In this regard, the further integration of renewable energies in the production processes will be crucial.
This topic will be debated at the European Business Summit on 6th of May – see agenda here

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