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EU to support clean tech industry, cut dependence on China

The EU will set a target to produce at least 40% of its clean technology demand by 2030, the president of the EU executive body said on Wednesday.

Speaking at the plenary session of the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said that the commission will present this week two legal drafts, the Net-Zero Industry Act and the Critical Raw Materials Act to support the modernization and independence of the European industry.

“With the Net-Zero Industry Act, we are setting the ambition. By 2030, we want to be able to produce at least 40% of the clean tech needed,” she said, referring to the process that reduces negative environmental impacts through energy efficiency improvements and the sustainable use of resources.

She stressed that “the race is on” in the global clean tech industry that reached over $1 trillion turnover last year and is expected to triple its market by 2030.

The new EU proposal will grant “speed, simplification, plus funding” for the EU’s clean tech, von der Leyen asserted.

The other draft, the Critical Raw Materials Act will propose to reduce the bloc’s dependence on China as a supplier, by securing new trade partners, such as Canada or the US, speeding up the extraction of rare earth materials and recycling in Europe, she further said.

Charles Michel, the president of the European Council stressed that “China and US aren’t equidistant from us.”

“We’re a loyal, faithful partner of the US and want to focus on historic links, focused on values and economic policy, which is also important to our security,” he further stressed.

While acknowledging that the EU must “engage with China on global issues,” such as climate action, Michel urged “to rebalance economic relations with China, particularly when it comes to strategic points for the future prosperity of Europe.”

He also pointed out that the EU has “to engage to try to reduce dependency which can be so expensive” as a lesson learned from energy trade with Russia.

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