European Green Deal
The European Commission’s Green Deal marks an important regulatory milestone and gives meaningful testament to the EU’s willingness to lead on climate issues and enhance the fight against climate change. The Deal’s comprehensive scope, its long-term perspective, and its emphasis on collaboration between public and private entities also stand to generate substantial opportunities for the EU generally, and for its industrial backbone specifically, if designed and implemented appropriately, and fit-for-purpose.
Reflecting on the Green Deal as a potential enabler of low-carbon technologies and accelerator of industrial solutions for the decarbonisation of mobility and the industrial value chain, FuelsEurope welcomes in particular the European Commission’s emphasis on the following:
- The development of lead markets for climate neutral and circular products;
- The recognition of the need to maintain security of supply and competitiveness of the EU economy, including avoiding carbon leakage;
- The recognition that energy-intensive industries are indispensable to Europe’s economy (referencing the recommendations by the High Level Group of energy-intensive industries);
- The development of legislative options to boost the production and uptake of sustainable alternative fuels for the different transport modes;
- The intention to present a chemicals strategy for sustainability aiming at simplifying and strengthening the legal framework and providing greater transparency when prioritising action to deal with chemicals.
Concurring with these conclusions, as emphasised in the Vision 2050, the European refining industry is already developing various low-carbon solutions, from low-carbon fuels to sustainably improving industrial processes, all the while providing affordable solutions to mobility, EU citizens, and the industrial value chain. However, the EU refining industry cannot walk this path alone.
With the Deal’s legislative roadmap published, it is now paramount that the associated legislative framework be established in a way that ensures the Green Deal’s long-term success by firmly rooting it in comprehensive impact assessments, transparent law making, and technology neutrality that will allow the most cost-efficient climate solutions to succeed. The Green Deal itself states that “a new pact is needed […]” with “[…] industry working closely with the EU’s institutions […].” Drawing from our own expertise as an enabler of the low-carbon transition, FuelsEurope embraces the opportunity to provide input to the EU Commission for evaluations, impact assessments, and legislative proposals associated with the European Green Deal. In addition, evaluating the cumulative cost-impact of the Deal, ensuring coherence between this new proposal and existing legislation will be key.
Amongst others, the ambitious plans of the Green Deal provide an opportunity to streamline the chemicals acquis by simplifying it, avoiding overlaps, and improving enforceability. The Sustainable Chemicals Strategy should foster the assessment of complex substances, cover strategies to avoid unnecessary animal testing, and continue ensuring high levels of protection of human health and the environment, while mitigating the administrative burden for companies.
We firmly believe that it is only by rooting policy in sound science and carefully proofing the respective competitiveness effects that the EU can fully seize the opportunities of the Green Deal, and cement its global leadership in low-carbon technologies.
FuelsEurope is eager to discuss with the EU Commission and co-legislators constructively how to deliver the low-carbon transition as envisioned in the EU Green Deal in a manner that is fit-for-purpose, and for the entire EU.