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Corporate Leaders Groups

Business leadership for a climate neutral economy
CLG Europe’s rapid response to the REPowerEU Plan

18 May 2022 - The European Commission has today (Wednesday May 18) released its REPowerEU Plan and supporting documents to reduce the EU’s dependence on Russian fossil fuels in response to the invasion of Ukraine and fast forward the green transition. CLG Europe welcomes the increased ambition and momentum on renewables and energy efficiency. However, the business leaders group underlines that new investment must be focused on the green transition, rather than new gas infrastructure.

Ursula Woodburn, Head of EU Relations, CLG Europe said:

"Recharging the European Green Deal with REPowerEU is critical to responding to the current energy security and price crises and delivering a green and prosperous European economy. The RePowerEU Plan's key focus on energy saving, acceleration of renewables and electrification clearly signposts its core objective of the phase out of fossil fuels and could lead to a more targeted approach in Member States’ National Energy and Climate and Recovery Plans. By shoring up Europe's energy security, the Plan can act as a springboard to the green transition - increasing targets for the Fit for 55 Package, and addressing long-standing challenges over permitting of renewable projects and development of power purchase agreements. Businesses across Europe are already developing and delivering the solutions that will help deliver the green transition and these new elements should act as key enablers.

"Some of the elements of the Plan are more concerning. Dedicating funding to new fossil fuel infrastructure investments risks creating stranded assets and continued dependence on fossil fuels.  If we are to achieve the objectives of the European Green Deal, it is critical that RePowerEU finance is focused on actions in line with achieving the green transition. In addition, there is a risk that the current RePowerEU finance plans to open the MSR could unbalance the EU’s Emission Trading Scheme and end up undermining the EU’s targets on reducing emissions. The European Commission must monitor these new actions and projects to ensure they are coherent with the Green Deal and the Climate Law. The European Parliament and Council now have the opportunity to support the new ambition and ensure financing is focused on delivering a climate neutral EU.”

In a recent open letter to European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, organised by CLG Europe, more than 100 European CEOs urged the EU to adopt the following recommendations as part of REPowerEU Plan:

  • Accelerate measures to reduce energy consumption through energy efficiency improvements for both households and industries and through the circular economy;
  • Accelerate the move away from fossil fuels and towards renewable and fossil free powered electrification across industry, transport, heating and cooling, and buildings;
  • Ensure an inclusive and fair transition process, with clear attention to the growing pressures on cost of living, and access to decent work.

To achieve these goals, the signatories also urged the EU to address factors that will enable families and their communities, as well as businesses and financial institutions, to reduce their reliance on fossil fuels, but also invest in and deliver the increasing ambition required:

  • Provide the right financial incentives and instruments to accelerate investments by investors, companies and households at sufficient strength;
  • Fully and effectively mobilise existing EU funds and structures;
  • Urgently increase and accelerate the provision of new training schemes built on the needs identified by employees and employers.

Please see more information about the CLG Europe’s Fit for 55 Hub here