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18/02/2020

Dear readers,

With the European Green Deal, the European Commission wants to make Europe the first climate-neutral continent by 2050. To achieve this goal, virtually all emissions caused by fossil fuels such as oil, coal or natural gas have to be avoided and/or offsetted. The EU is discussing to raise its ambition for 2030: compared to 1990, CO2 emissions shall be reduced by at least 50 or 55 per cent. But how can the ambitious climate protection plans be implemented?
EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen presented a package of measures for social-ecological change that will benefit the people and the economy in Europe. The Green Deal also provides for drastic reductions in emissions and more investments in top-level research and innovation.

The Wuppertal Institute calls to put particular emphasis on the role of basic materials industry – especially the production of steel, cement, chemicals, glass, and paper. These industries are responsible for significantly more than half of all industry-related greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The Scientific Managing Director of the Wuppertal Institute, Prof. Dr. Manfred Fischedick, says that a clearer positioning is needed for the Green Deal package: "Although the awareness for a more strategic orientation in industrial policy has grown strongly, the existing approaches and considerations still fall short. The urgently needed improved integration between industrial, energy and climate policy has not yet been given sufficient consideration".

How the transformation process can succeed at relevant levels shows the new In Brief "An Integrated Climate Industry Policy as the Core of the European Green Deal" by the Wuppertal Institute. Within this position paper, the two authors Prof. Dr. Manfred Fischedick and Prof. Dr. Stefan Lechtenböhmer, Director of the Future Energy and Industry Systems Division, lay out four key agenda items:

  • The establishment of climate-neutral and circular value chains for products in the basic materials industry
  • Increased incentives and sufficient policy strategies for sustainable business areas along the value chains
  • A clear policy direction for major technology and infrastructure investments
  • An integrated climate, energy, and industrial policy as a central component of the European Green Deal

Undoubtedly, the achievement of these goals is a major design task and challenge for the structures in industry that have grown over decades. But the Wuppertal Institute is convinced: It is also a great opportunity!

This design task must be solved jointly in close cooperation between industry, science and politics. The initiative "IN4climate.NRW" offers a platform for this. In North Rhine-Westphalia, the scientific competence centre "SCI4climate.NRW" coordinated by the Wuppertal Institute is providing this support for a climate-neutral and sustainable industry.

Seize this opportunity with us!
Christin Hasken & Anna Riesenweber

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Editor: Christin Hasken
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