At the European Council meeting of 10-11 December 2020, EU leaders took to the crucial step of setting a new EU target of reducing EU greenhouse gas emissions by 55% by 2030, up from the current -40% target. Recognising a need for reinforced efforts on industry, it also explicitly tasked the Commission to “propose measures that enable energy intensive industries to develop and deploy new climate neutral technologies while maintaining their industrial competitiveness”.
However, doing this requires an integrated package of policies to decarbonise heavy industry. Unfortunately, at the present stage, a coherent and integrated policy package is not what currently appears to be emerging from the EU Green Deal and the Fit-for-55 Package. On the contrary, there is a risk of a fragmented and altogether uncoordinated approach to industry decarbonisation which overlooks key parts of the problem.
Against this backdrop, this short publication proposes that the European Commission should present an updated EU industrial strategy by April 2021 that addresses these weaknesses of the previous industrial strategy head on. It should present a compelling narrative, set concrete and ambitious 2030 milestones, and includes a roadmap with specific instruments for delivering the above-mentioned milestones. This legislative “roadmap” could then enable the EU legislator to better coordinate the robust and consistent European framework needed.