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The European Commission laid out its green industrial plan on Thursday, designed to ensure that Europe is a leading producer of clean technologies and not just a global frontrunner in cutting carbon dioxide emissions.
Race is On
The European Union plan is a bid to boost Europe's industrial competitiveness – with a particular eye on the challenge posed by the United States and China, the world's two biggest economies, to the EU's borderless single market, which some say is due for a revamp.
Many in the EU are worried that U.S. President Joe Biden's Inflation Reduction Act, which offers $369 billion of green subsidies that often only apply to products made in North America, could lure companies out of Europe, allowing the United States to grow into a clean tech giant at Europe's expense.
The bloc also wants to reduce its reliance on China in the many green tech supply chains that China currently dominates, such as solar and in processing critical raw materials.
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Net-Zero Industry Act
The EU act's goal is to ensure that by 2030, EU manufacturing capacity is sufficient to meet 40% of its needs of equipment for solar or wind power, batteries, heat pumps, electrolysers and fuel cells, biogas or carbon capture.
The act proposes streamlining the granting of permits for green projects, such as solar parks and fuel cells, limiting to 18 months a process that can currently take many years. EU countries would need to designate one national authority to coordinate the granting of permits and give priority to net-zero projects.
It also sets an EU objective of reaching 50 million tonnes of annual CO2 storage capacity by 2030 and introduces requirements for EU oil and gas producers to contribute to this goal.