In Strasbourg, the European Parliament voted in support of a proposal to increase the production of essential technologies for climate change mitigation in Europe. This proposal comes as part of the net zero industry act, which aims to regulate and produce 40 percent of key technologies related to climate change within Europe. The act is the European Union’s equivalent of the US climate package IRA.
The Parliament’s position on the net zero industry regulation includes a requirement for European companies to have a global market share of 25 percent in these key technologies. The EU Commission has identified eight technologies, considered to be “strategic net zero technology”, including solar electricity, wind power, battery and storage technologies, and sustainable biogas and biomethane technologies. However, the Parliament added nuclear fission and fusion, sustainable aviation fuels, and certain industrial technologies to the list of strategic technologies.
Using the regulation, processes for the licensing of strategic technologies are aimed to be sped up, with project approval taking only six to nine months. The European Parliament also voted on their negotiating position for the final form of the law during the so-called trilogy negotiations with the Commission and the Council of the Member States.
The European Commission’s initiative was met with some criticism from researchers, who argue that the Regulation is not technology-neutral and may send protectionist signals. However, MEP Mauri Pekkarinen considers the Parliament’s position historic and is hopeful that the net zero industry act will benefit the Finnish forest industry.
He also believes the act is not protectionist and is aimed at drumming up the free internal market. The European Parliament will continue to work on the negotiation and finalization of the net zero industry act.