Next EU Commission must focus on greening industry, clean tech competitiveness – think tank
(Clean Energy Wire, 24 Jan 2024) Greening Europe’s industrial base, ensuring resilient clean-tech value chains and setting up a new EU climate fund should be among the priorities of the next European Commission, taking office following the 2024 EU elections in June, according to a new paper from think tank Agora Energiewende.
The next Commission should draft an ‘EU Industrial Direct Electrification Action Plan,’ which would set fossil fuel phase-out dates for certain industrial processes. Agora Energiewende argues that direct electrification of industrial heat should become a major priority as it would result in rapid reduction of both fossil gas use and CO₂ emissions, making the industry more resilient and competitive. The paper argued that the EU has two larger climate policy tasks to undertake in the next five years: implementing the "Fit for 55" policy package to reach 2030 targets, which has been agreed in the current term; and building on this introducing new initiatives, such as a 2040 greenhouse gas reduction target.
The think tank's paper includes 20 proposals for initiatives across policy areas that the EU should introduce in the coming legislative period. Aside from industry decarbonisation, it focusses on garnering broader public support for the transition through making climate-friendly heating, cooling and mobility solutions affordable and accessible. It also calls for the development of a 'European Rural Deal' to enable farmers, forest owners, and rural communities to benefit from the transition.