19 March 2023.
The European Union (EU) has recently announced two major pieces of legislation that are part of its Green Deal Industrial Plan – the Net Zero Industry Act (NZIA) and Critical Raw Materials Act (CRMA). The aim of these measures is to promote green manufacturing and reduce the EU’s reliance on imports. In this article, we will take a closer look at these acts and their potential impact on the global manufacturing landscape.
The Net Zero Industry Act
The Net Zero Industry Act (NZIA) is a key component of the EU’s Green Deal Industrial Plan. It seeks to promote the production of green technologies within the EU by achieving at least 40% of the EU’s green technology needs through domestic manufacturing by 2030. This would reduce the EU’s reliance on imports, create jobs, and promote sustainable economic growth.
The NZIA will support the development of a range of green technologies, including renewable energy, energy-efficient buildings, and electric vehicles. It will also provide funding for research and development in the green manufacturing sector and create incentives for companies to adopt more sustainable practices.
The Critical Raw Materials Act
The Critical Raw Materials Act (CRMA) is another key component of the EU’s Green Deal Industrial Plan. It aims to reduce the EU’s reliance on imports of critical raw materials by setting goals for their extraction, processing, and recycling within the EU. Critical raw materials are those that are essential for the production of high-tech products such as batteries, electric vehicles, and wind turbines.
By reducing the EU’s reliance on imports of critical raw materials, the CRMA aims to boost the EU’s competitiveness in the global manufacturing sector. It will also help to ensure the security of supply of critical raw materials, which are often subject to geopolitical tensions.
Implications for Emerging Economies
The EU’s focus on green manufacturing and reducing reliance on imports could have implications for emerging economies that depend on their manufacturing sectors. For example, countries that export raw materials to the EU could see a reduction in demand, which could have a negative impact on their economies.
However, the EU has stated that it is committed to working with partner countries to promote sustainable and fair trade. It has also pledged to support the development of green technologies in partner countries, which could create new opportunities for cooperation and trade.
Criticism from Civil Society Groups
The EU’s preference for industrial policy over carbon pricing has led to criticism from civil society groups. Some groups argue that the NZIA and CRMA do not go far enough in addressing the root causes of climate change and that carbon pricing would be a more effective tool for reducing emissions.
However, the EU argues that a combination of industrial policy and carbon pricing is necessary to achieve the goals of the Green Deal. It has also stated that it is committed to ensuring that the costs of the transition to a green economy are distributed fairly.