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European Commission presents Green Industrial Plan for the Net-Zero Age

Today, the European Commission presented its Communication on a Green Industrial Plan for the Net-Zero Age. This Communication puts forward the Commission’s response to the US Inflation Redaction Act (IRA) - the Net-Zero Industry Act, announced by Commission President Ursula von der Leyen in the 2023 World Economic Forum.

The Plan is based on four pillars:

  1. A simplified regulatory environment

  2. Faster access to sufficient funding

  3. Skills

  4. Open trade for resilient supply chains

Within the first pillar, the Commission proposes to put forward a Net-Zero Industry Act to underpin industrial manufacturing of key technologies in the EU. The Act would provide a simplified regulatory framework for production capacity of products that are key to meet our climate neutrality goals. Other proposals include the Critical Raw Materials Act (expected on 8 March).

To speed up the access to funding, the Commission will consult Member States on an amended Temporary State aid Crisis and Transition Framework and will revise the General Block Exemption Regulation, increasing notification thresholds for support for green investments. Amendments of the state aid framework include:

  • Simplification of aid for renewable energy deployments

  • Simplification of aid for decarbonising industrial processes

  • Enhanced investment support schemes for production of strategic net-zero technologies, including via tax benefits

  • More targeted aid for major new production projects in strategic net-zero value chains

To enhance skills, the Commission will propose to establish Net-Zero Industry Academies to roll out up-skilling and re-skilling programmes in strategic industries.

Lastly, on trade, the EU will continue to support the WTO and its reform, as well as advance the EU’s Free Trade Agreements with Australia (to be completed by summer 2023), India and Indonesia. A Critical Raw Materials Club with like-minded partners will also be developed to deliver on a secure, sustainable and affordable global supply of raw materials essential to the twin transition.

To read the Communication, please click here.


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