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NZIA Panel Discussion: An NZIA to maintain Competitiveness and ease the Green Transition

NZIA Panel

On Tuesday 6 June, EPICO KlimaInnovation hosted a hybrid panel discussion with Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung Europe. The event focused on the proposal of the European Commission on the NZIA (Net Zero Industry Act). The discussion looked in particular on how to ensure a green competitiveness for Member States.

Dr. Christian Ehler MEP (ITRE rapporteur for the NZIA) underlined the importance of taking a more targeted approach, highlighting that the NZIA is not only a reflection of the US Inflation Reduction Act (IRA). He also emphasized that the EU needs to prolong the existing funds and use them to build production capacities and build a business case.

Camille Maury of WWF stressed the need to think in a holistic way and to also think about the social aspects of the NZIA. She argued that in terms of the NZIA’s scope and ambition, regulations are welcome in order to achieve our 2030 emissions targets. These should focus on scaling up renewables (eg, green hydrogen) in the EU, and increase the independency of energy production. To this aim, the permitting timeframe should also be cut. The rapporteur’s idea of Net Zero Valleys can also be useful, though this shall focus on already deindustrialized regions with help of the Commission. Finally, in terms of governance, Camille Maury argued that clean tech should be scaled up only in combination with social acceptance and running due consultations with the public.

Dr Bernd Weber, CEO of EPICO, explained the importance of attracting private investment on top of public support, with mechanisms such as blended finance. This would allow the pursuit of net-zero to be coupled with industrial development. Dr Weber also recommended:

  1. A better response to the IRA.
  2. Further developing the successes reached through the green deal.
  3. A comprehensive industry strategy that looks into international partnership, through sectorial cooperation, for example in the shape of climate clubs.
  4. Competitive edge as an industrial carbon free production site.

The NZIA is well overdue, as a key step in achieving a net-zero emissions economy.

You can find the recording of our panel discussion here.

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