Industrial decarbonisation and the EU Green Deal: The case for bold action

(EurActiv, 17 Jan 2020) The green deal is a credible first step to decarbonise energy-intensive industries such as steelmaking and chemicals. However, the transition to climate neutrality will also depend on the development of a comprehensive, integrated industrial strategy, writes Gauri Khandekar.

Gauri Khandekar is a researcher at the Institute for European for Studies at the Vrije Universitaet Brussel.

This week has illuminated that the EU’s green deal – the proposed framework for the EU economy to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050 – will be the bloc’s top priority.

At the first European Parliament session of the year, MEPs voted overwhelmingly in favour of the European Green Deal while the European Commission introduced plans for ambitious funding of the same.

A much-awaited Just Transition Mechanism was also announced that would accompany the Green Deal in ensuring the transition to a carbon-neutral Europe by 2050 is both fair and balanced. The Parliament also supported the Green Deal calling for a higher 2030 emission reductions goal of 55%.

While the Green Deal is an ambitious initiative, its Sisyphean task will be ensuring the transition of European energy-intensive industries which are typically considered as ‘hard to abate’ sectors given their high CO2-and-energy intensive processes and because most of the low-hanging fruits for decarbonisation have already been picked.

For industry, the 30 years left for achieving climate neutrality translates into one large investment cycle. For these industries and their value chains to successfully move ahead with such a transition, five main challenges will first have to be addressed.

External link

EurActiv, 17 Jan 2020: Industrial decarbonisation and the EU Green Deal: The case for bold action