BRUSSELS. Change does not appeal to those who have to change. The world of industry does not like the “made in EU” sustainability policy. The package containing the measures to clean up the European production system, presented with great fanfare by the European Commission and its president Ursula von der Leyen, contains measures considered excessive for those who are called to adapt by abandoning the business model that has paid so much so far.
This is what we are talking about: investments and innovation. And therefore useful. Brussels is accused of putting all this at risk. Car manufacturers, airlines and heavy industry are all against proposals to cut CO2 emissions. Not surprisingly, if you take a look at the measures. These sectors are mainly affected. Stop the production of petrol and diesel engines from 2035, kerosone tax on planes and ships, with the latter included in the emission rights market (Ets).
The Commission is launching proposals that will have to be examined by the Council of the EU, and in the Europe of the States, pressure is beginning to be put on them in an attempt to recalibrate the scope of the objectives that are the subject of the political negotiation that is opening.
The auto industry is on a war footing. Oliver Zipse, the president of ACEA, speaks on behalf of the entire European sector. “Without a significant increase in efforts by all stakeholders, including Member States and all sectors involved, the proposed goal is simply not feasible.” European manufacturers reject the Brussels plan and are already turning to national governments. Zipse is also the managing director of BMW, a German brand. It is the Germans who fear, given the importance of the car sector as such and on the national economy. It is no coincidence that the German association of car manufacturers, the VDA, speaks of an “anti-innovation, almost impossible to achieve” measure.
But there is also the Spanish industry, the second largest in the EU after Germany, to put its foot down. He asks Pedro Sanchez to “consider the position” of the government, in clear lobbying.
Not even in the world of aeronautics is there a toast to the measures put on the table. There is Lufthansa who fears the kerosene tax may represent a disadvantage compared to non-European carriers. In essence, there is a fear of competition. More. The combination of phasing out carbon credits plus binding fuel quota plus kerosene tax risks blocking European airlines. The German carrier said a financing mechanism should be developed to help pay for sustainable fuels. In summary: the proposals of Brussels are “an own goal on competitiveness”, criticizes in no uncertain terms Willie Walsh, the director general of the International Civil Aviation Association (IATA).
It was only a matter of time that the maritime sector should end up in an emission reduction mechanism. The second Barroso Commission forced its hand by including civil aviation in the ETS to reach a global agreement in Icao, the international civil aviation organization. Claes Berglund, president of Ecsa, the association of European shipowners, denounces a difference in politics. “We would have preferred an international solution for maritime transport.”
Criticism also comes from BusinessEurope, the European confindustria. “Europe accounts for only 8 percent of global emissions, while our competitors run much more emissions-intensive production processes and incur little or no carbon costs,” observes president Pierre Gattaz, also spokesman for manufacturers. of steel, aluminum and fertilizers, sectors that are more difficult to make with low emissions and worried about the impact of the measures developed in Brussels, on which the business world is already working to change them.