Carbon leakage: What challenges for energy-intensive industries under the EU's decarbonisation roadmap?
After succeeding in closing an agreement on the legislative texts of the Clean Energy Package in December and launching the debate on the long-term decarbonisation strategy of the EU towards carbon neutrality in 2050, Europe is required to reassess the framework for the functioning of the ETS with a view to addressing the challenges faced by its energy-intensive industry. Fierce global competition, subsidies (in countries outside the EU), trade wars and a lack of common understanding on climate policies define the market in which EU industry has to survive and thrive.
Some argue it’s not looking good for Europe’s champions of the past decades. In many sectors, the EU’s share in meeting global demand for commodities such as aluminium and steel is shrinking and gradually - or rapidly in some cases - being replaced by new capacity in China or elsewhere in the world. At the same time, these new industrial giants rely heavily on existing or new coal-fired capacity in order to cover their energy needs (mainly electricity).
Two key legislative texts are currently being revised by the European Commission and one more is in trilogue: the regulation on the harmonised rules for the free allocation of emission allowances to energy intensive industries exposed to carbon leakage; state aid guidelines on the compensation of indirect emission costs; and the proposal for a regulation establishing a framework to facilitate sustainable investment, including a taxonomy proposal on green business sectors.
These initiatives may appear technical, but the survival and competitiveness of the EU’s energy-intensive industries over the 4th phase of the ETS (2021-2030) is inextricably linked with the methodologies, assumptions, figures and conclusions which will form the outcome of these discussions. Carbon leakage is no longer a risk, but a reality that policymakers must address.
Euractiv invites you to discuss these issues and consider other questions such as:
- Does decarbonisation inevitably mean de-industrialisation?
- What action can the EU take in order to efficiently safeguard the international competitiveness of its energy-intensive industries?
- Can the EU create a genuinely level playing field, while adhering to its climate goals and principles? And at what cost?
- Can European Energy Intensive Industries turn to greener energy sourcing in a reliable and affordable manner within the internal energy market?
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Stergios Pitsiorlas, Alternate Minister of Industry, Ministry of Economy and Development, Greece
Evangelos Mytilineos, CEO, Mytilineos Holdings
Peter Handley, HoU Resource Efficiency and Raw Materials, DG Grow, European Commission
Heiko Kunst, Head of EU ETS Free Allocation to Industry sector, European Commission
Maria Spyraki MEP, Member REGI Committee, European Parliament
Leon DeGraaf, Industrial Affairs Adviser & Deputy ASG Manager, Business Europe
Alexandra Tudoroiu, Senior Policy Manager, COGEN Europe
Gauri Khandekar, Researcher, Environment and Sustainability Cluster, VUB Institute for European Studies
Samuel Morgan, Energy & Environment Reporter, EURACTIV
17:00 – 17:30 Registration
17:30 – 17:45 Keynote statements
17:45 – 18:15 Panellist statements
18:15 – 19:00 Discussion and Q&A
19:00 – 20:00 Networking Cocktail
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