The indispensable second wave of the Green Deal: A Green Industry Strategy

(EurActiv, 13 Dec 2019) The upcoming EU Industry Strategy must be a cornerstone of the Green New Deal, making it possible for the EU to both meet its climate goals and strengthen its global industrial leadership in a fast-changing global economy, write Adair Turner and Sandrine Dixson-Declève.

Adair Turner is Chair of the Energy Transitions Commission. Sandrine Dixson-Declève is President of the Club of Rome and Senior Advisor to the Energy Transitions Commission.

Enthusiasm and a renewed sense of opportunity: this is the predominant response from the global and European business leaders who compose the Energy Transitions Commission after the release of the EU’s Green New Deal by the new European Commission.

In November 2018, we had collectively argued in favour of a “net-zero by 2050” target for Europe, based on our Mission Possible report, which demonstrated the technical and financial feasibility of this goal, including for the “harder-to-abate” sectors of the economy. A year later, we are delighted that this target has now been confirmed by the European Union, paving the way for other major regions in the run up to COP26, in particular for China, where the ETC’s latest report China 2050: a fully developed rich net-zero economy has just shown that a similar goal could be set and reached.

The two flagship measures of the Commission’s first 100 days – the Climate Law and the Just Transition Fund – are essential foundations to ensure that the net-zero target can be achieved.

But actually getting there will be no small endeavour. It will require a profound transformation of our energy systems, with a massive increase in renewable power generation and parallel drop in fossil fuels consumption.

It will also demand major change across all energy-intensive sectors. In buildings, transport and industry, disruption will come from new business models (with a shift from linear, product-based to circular, service-based models) and from new technologies enabling the use of zero-carbon energy sources in multiple applications (with electrification of end uses playing the most important, though not exclusive, role).

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EurActiv, 13 Dec 2019: The indispensable second wave of the Green Deal: A Green Industry Strategy