EU’s industrial strategy must serve climate neutrality, not undermine it

(EurActiv, 9 Mar 2020) The EU Industrial Strategy, to be presented by the European Commission this week, will be a litmus test on the willingness of the EU executive to land the European Green Deal in the real world, writes Sophie Rigaudie.

Sophie Rigaudie is EU climate and industry policy officer Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe, an environmental NGO.

Industry is both a major contributor to climate change as well as increasingly hit by climate costs and uncertainties itself. Industry currently represents 14% of the EU’s total greenhouse gas emissions. Recently, industrial emission levels have been stagnating, not declining, proving the failure of the current regulatory framework.

At the same time, the climate crisis and climate-related extreme weather events already cause severe headaches to European industry. The drought of the Rhine river alone disrupted cargo shipping for months in 2018.

For the first time, the Global Risks report 2020 presented at the World Economic Forum listed climate and environmental impacts as top risks to the global economic and financial system.

Responding to the climate crisis is the defining challenge for the EU. In late 2019, the European Parliament declared a global “climate and environmental emergency” and EU leaders endorsed the objective for the EU to commit to net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 at the latest.

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EurActiv, 9 Mar 2020: EU’s industrial strategy must serve climate neutrality, not undermine it