Publications Europe

Net Zero Industry Act: Europe in the race for cleantech

The European Union still has a lot of work to do. Yesterday the European Commission published its Net Zero Industry Act, a piece of its response to the American Inflation Reduction Act, a necessary but still insufficient building block to keep the European Union in global cleantech race. It will also have to complete a number of directives and regulations to deliver its Green Deal. The EU election in 2024 is fast approaching, time is of the essence. 


This week, I4CE offers you an overview of its research work on EU policies. In our newsletter, you will discover our latest analyses and a new OpEd by Thomas Pellerin Carlin on European cleantech investments.



Europe needs an investment plan to win the global cleantech race

As anyone who has marvelled at professional cyclists vying for position knows, the decisions competitors take challenges the strategy of those following close behind. Since August 2022 and the US Inflation Reduction Act, it’s safe to say the global cleantech race has moved up a gear. In the marathon that is the global cleantech race, the EU benefits from the most developed set of climate regulations and carbon pricing in the world. However, it lacks the investment plan that China and the US now have on offer, according to Thomas Pellerin Carlin from I4CE in this oped for Euractiv.


Read the OpEd



Building an EU Cleantech Investment Plan to match the US Inflation Reduction Act


This I4CE brief published few weeks ago argues that the best EU policy answer to the Inflation Reduction Action is an EU longterm climate investment plan. As the political appetite for such a plan is currently limited, the European Commission should use the political momentum to propose a targeted investment plan that focuses on the development, scale-up, manufacturing and deployment of clean technologies in the EU. It identifies three first bricks that can already be laid out to build this plan.


Read the climate brief




Carbon certification: the commission publishes a stringent certification framework that should also be appealing

The future European carbon certification framework is the subject of heated debate. Beyond the criticisms of the expert group responsible for assisting the Commission, the purpose of this future certification raises questions: will it only be used for voluntary compensation? The Commission remains vague at this stage and, worried, the NGOs instinctively put the brakes on. They insist on the risks of the long-term non-permanence of carbon stored by soils and forests, as do the CCS industrialists. An unlikely alliance that could lead to the exclusion of natural carbon sinks from future certification. We invite you to read this blog post on the Commission’s carbon certification proposal by Claudine Foucherot from I4CE.


Read the blog post



Climate transition plans for banks: EU legislators on a razor’s edge


The requirement for climate transition plans for banks is making its way into the regulatory debate. It could be a game changer in terms of climate risk management and the alignment of financial flows towards the climate transition of the economy. But if the principle of transition plans is taken up by the Commission, the Council and the Parliament, the exact wording differs in terms of ambition and clarity. In this OpEd, Anuschka Hilke from I4CE identifies three parameters that need to be clarified in the trialogue negotiations for these plans to make a real difference.


Read the OpEd


Read the newsletter

To learn more
  • 09/15/2023 Foreword of the week
    From denial to acceptance: Europe’s next step in the cleantech race

    Psychologists sometimes talk about the five stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. One year on from the announcement of the US Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), the European response has looked startlingly similar. Public anger in Brussels at perceived American protectionism. Private sector depression at the prospect of Europe falling behind in the global cleantech race. Denial of the gap between the EU and US efforts, by arguing that that all EU and national spending on cleantech amounts to a conservative estimate of what the IRA offers (while not factoring in the full range of US support). 

  • 09/13/2023
    The sharpest tool in the box: how to strenghten the European Union Innovation Fund for climate competitiveness and security

    The European Union (EU) Innovation Fund is Europe’s largest fund for climate innovation. It has a keyrole to play in European climate action, energy security and technological leadership. To unleash the full potential of European cleantech, greater public support is needed to help more companies and projects cross the so-called “valleys of death” that are inherent to cleantech innovation and scale-up. In this endeavour, relying solely on national public funds would create two risks. In countries where governments do not rise to the financing challenge, innovators will fail or flee. Conversely, governments with the fiscal means to spend big on cleantech may create a harmful subsidy race among EU member states, undermining EU solidarity and the integrity of the EU Single Market.

  • 09/13/2023 Op-ed
    Call for a European Green Industrial Policy

    We are coming to the end of this Commission’s mandate, time to think about the future of EU climate action. France and Germany called for a EU Green industrial policy last year but since then they have not yet show EU leadership. An EU policy needs to get 3 design elements right: Vision, Funding and Governance. In this OpEd, Stiftung KlimaWirtschaft and I4CE call for France and Germany to come together in leadership and, ahead of the EU elections, call for a European response to the great challenge of the 21st century.

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