EU 2030 Energy and Climate package included an analysis of energy costs and was published together with the European Industrial Renaissance Communication. This was a signal showing the European Commission is starting to take industrial competitiveness seriously.
Nevertheless the European Council endorsed unilateral and binding EU target of an at least 40% domestic reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 compared to 1990. Unilateral EU target is the core problem for industry's competitiveness.
The Energy Union Package emphasises on delivering competitive energy prices, investing in the bioeconomy and establishing synergies between the energy efficiency, resource efficiency and circular economy policies. The package recognizes that energy costs for industry in Europe are uncompetitive. The viewpoints need to be implemented in forthcoming legislation.
EU's unilateral targets weaken competitiveness
The VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland and the Government Institute for Economic Research (VATT) has published an assessment of the effects of the EU 2030 goals on the Finnish energy system and national economy. An assessment shows a decrease in the gross national product, private consumption, exports, imports and rate of employment due to the EU targets.
Pellervo Economic Research (PTT) has also published a report on the effects of the EU 2030 targets. The costs of Finnish forest industries threaten to increase by an amount equivalent to 16–37 percent of their annual payroll, due to the EU’s climate policies.
The costs to the forest industry are mainly caused by an increase in the prices of the emission permit price, electricity and transport costs.
The Paris climate agreement is a start but not yet equal
The EU has repeatedly announced its desire to be the leader in tackling climate change issues. The problem is that no one seems to be following the leader at the same level of ambition. This did not happen in Paris climate negotiations.
Unilateral decisions by the EU will not save the climate. The Paris climate agreement should be developed in the way that brings all parties to same ambition level. At the moment EU has the tightes climate target.
To achieve growth, jobs and investments EU needs to launch and implement new priorities. Competitiveness and industrial policy should be at the core of EU policies.