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CLG Europe open letter to the Competitiveness Council underlines support for green recovery and industrial policy aligned with EU climate targets

last modified Feb 18, 2021 03:57 PM
18 February 2021 – CLG Europe Director Eliot Whittington sent a letter to the Ministers of the Competitiveness Council including a number of recommendations to better ensure the Recovery and Resilience Plans and the EU industrial policy are aligned with EU climate targets and the Green Deal growth strategy.

Read the letter in full here.COMPET Council letter image

Ahead of the 25 February Competitiveness Council, the letter aims to “highlight the growth, jobs and competitiveness benefits of ensuring that the Covid-19 Recovery and Resilience Plans (RRP) and wider EU industrial policy are fully aligned with the EU climate targets that are at the core of the EU’s growth strategy, the European Green Deal.”

“The development of Member State RRPs will be an essential element in helping the EU economy build back better and revitalise industrial ecosystems that have been significantly impacted as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, which, as you know, has led to unprecedented health, economic and social consequences for Europe and across the globe.”

“To strengthen the competitiveness of EU Industrial ecosystems and to aid their decarbonisation in the coming years”, the letter outlines the following essential elements:

  • Boosting the circular economy and creating lead markets for climate neutral materials
  • Deploying innovative financial support mechanisms
  • Putting an effective, predictable price on carbon in a globally aligned way 
  • Deploying more affordable renewable and low carbon energy 
  • Measuring performance 
  • Roadmaps for sectoral decarbonisation 
  • A just transition for jobs and skills 

The policy recommendations build on CLG Europe’s publication, Maximising the benefits: Economic, employment and emissions impacts of green recovery stimulus in Europe, which draws on Cambridge Econometrics’ E3ME modelling results carried out for the We Mean Business Coalition. 

The report shows “that ‘green recovery plans’ which are aligned with EU climate targets can have a much greater effect on boosting GDP and employment than more standard stimulus approaches such as reducing VAT rates alone.”

“The Competitiveness Council has a vital role to play in ensuring that the EU is taking the necessary steps to safeguard the future of its industrial landscape in a world that is shifting towards a global climate neutral economy. […] The opportunity cost of delay or insufficient ambition would have negative consequences for the competitiveness of European industries so we put our trust in you and your counterparts across Europe to make sure the necessary measures are taken to secure short term advantages and longer term success.”


Eliot Whittington, Director of CLG Europe said:

“With over half the global economy already committed to achieve net zero emissions, the ‘race to zero’ is well underway. Europe’s competitiveness will rely on being ready for the future, which means tackling climate change and the green transition head on. Fortunately, green recovery policies are consistently more favourable for GDP and employment and reducing CO2 emissions. Europe needs to step up and build back better for more sustainable and competitive industry and economy, or risk being left behind.”


Harry Verhaar, Chair of CLG Europe, and Head of Global Public & Government Affairs, Signify said:

"The Green Deal is not only Europe’s Man on the Moon’ moment, it is also the program that will keep industry and the economy healthy and competitive on European soil. The focus of the European Green Deal and recovery plans are the medicine and the vitamins that Europe needs to stimulate its great technology base and turn this into the foundation for a carbon neutral and more inclusive society. There is no reason to wait. Let’s grasp this opportunity for recovery and industrial development that sets the agenda for the Europe we want to see and make this vision a reality." 

Learn more about CLG Europe’s work on the European industrial strategy.

Find out more about CLG Europe's engagement with policymakers or visit the Green Recovery Knowledge Hub.

Learn more about CISL’s work on ‘competitive sustainability’ in the working paper: Developing the EU’s ‘competitive sustainability’ for a resilient recovery and dynamic growth.

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