Publications Europe

Cleantech divide looms in Europe

21 November 2023 - Op-ed - By : Ciarán HUMPHREYS

Investment in the development of the cleantech sector in Europe is too slow and unevenly spread across EU member states and despite its best intentions, it is not clear that the EU’s Net-Zero Industry Act (NZIA) will rectify this.


Unveiling the Net-Zero Industry Act (NZIA) earlier this year, Ursula Von Der Leyen declared it would “create the best conditions for those sectors that are crucial for us to reach net-zero by 2050: technologies like wind turbines, heat pumps, solar panels, renewable hydrogen as well as CO2 storage.”


Progress in the development of the cleantech sector still needs to be faster, and investment across EU member states is unevenly spread. And despite the best intentions, it is unclear whether the Act, which MEPs vote on this week, will rectify this.


The Net Zero Industry Act sets ambitious targets for increasing Europe’s cleantech manufacturing capacity. However, tweaking the EU’s regulatory architecture will only get us so far. To truly grow Europe’s green industry, an ambitious, EU-level Cleantech Investment Plan should be the next priority.


The EU’s current investment offer is not up to this challenge.  The Strategic Technologies for Europe Platform (STEP), the proposed investment package supporting the Act, lacks muscle. If passed, it would see just €10 billion of public funds invested across cleantech, deep tech (such as AI) and biotech – hardly enough to spark an EU-wide wave of growth. For perspective, Germany offered the same to one microchip plant, and has spent billions more in subsidies to its economy.


Read the article in Euractiv’

I4CE Contacts
Research Fellow – Cleantech, Financial instruments for climate innovation Email
To learn more
  • 04/11/2024
    I4CE’s recommendations to the Basel Committee on the disclosure of climate-related risks

    After a first step in 2022, the Basel Committee on Banking supervision is finally moving towards regulation for climate-related risks. Founded in 1974, this forum brings together financial supervisors of the G20 countries and establishes the common standards for financial stability. Two years ago, the Committee published a consultative document on the principles of climate […]

  • 03/15/2024 Foreword of the week
    Certification framework: the devil is in the details

    A few days after the conclusion of negotiations on the European Union’s carbon removals certification Framework (CRCF), I4CE helped organise the European Carbon Farming Summit in Valencia, as part of the CREDIBLE project. The high level of stakeholder participation at the summit testifies to the expectations that this new tool will contribute to a better economic valuation of carbon farming practices. The summit raised high hopes for improving and harmonising carbon measurement to certify projects, in particular through remote sensing, in a sector where there is a great deal of uncertainty. While it is vital to improve measurement and monitoring, uncertainty must not be allowed to justify inaction, and the key is to find the right balance between cost and accuracy.

  • 02/29/2024 Blog post
    European certification framework: a high-quality outline that does not guarantee the value of the final picture

    The European co-legislators have just reached an agreement on the content of the future European Carbon Removal Certification Framework (CRCF). Negotiations were swift and fruitful, against a backdrop of a general step back in the adoption of the various Green Deal texts. While today sees environmental issues played off against farmer’s livelihoods, this draft regulation brings these two elements together to create the conditions for investment in the transition of agriculture and forestry sectors. However, several details still need to be clarified to ensure that this framework actually enables effective and ambitious climate financing.

See all publications
Press contact Amélie FRITZ Head of Communication and press relations Email
Subscribe to our mailing list :
I register !
Subscribe to our newsletter
Once a week, receive all the information on climate economics
I register !