The European Council and the European Parliament have reached a provisional agreement on a regulation aimed at strengthening Europe’s net-zero technology products manufacturing ecosystem.

This legislation, known as the ‘Net-Zero Industry Act’ (NZIA), is designed to advance the deployment of net-zero technologies crucial for achieving the EU’s climate objectives.

The agreement underscores the significance of utilising the single market to reinforce Europe’s leadership in industrial green technologies.

Key objectives of the Net-Zero Industry Act

Under the provisional agreement, there will be a consolidated list of net-zero technologies, accompanied by criteria for selecting strategic projects within these sectors. The aim is to identify projects that will contribute significantly to decarbonisation efforts.

Flemish Minister for Economy, Innovation, Work, Social Economy and Agriculture, Jo Brouns, highlighted the importance of the NZIA in supporting the transition of industries towards cleaner technologies.

The agreement is viewed as a pivotal step towards fostering a competitive, green, and job-creating industrial sector across Europe.

Facilitating investment in green technologies

The net-zero industry act proposes several measures to facilitate investment in green technologies.

This includes simplifying permit-granting procedures, supporting strategic projects, enhancing workforce skills through the establishment of net-zero industry academies, and creating a platform to coordinate EU action in this domain.

The legislation also advocates for the establishment of regulatory sandboxes to foster innovation in the sector.

Main elements of the agreement

The provisional agreement supports the core objectives of the act proposed by the commission.

Notable improvements include streamlined rules on construction permit procedures, the creation of net-zero industrial valleys, and enhanced clarity on criteria for public procurement and auctioning.

Additionally, the legislation sets specific targets, including achieving 40% of the production required to cover the EU’s needs in strategic technology products.

It also outlines goals for carbon dioxide carbon capture and storage, aiming for an annual injection capacity of at least 50 million tonnes by 2030.

Next steps

The provisional agreement reached with the European Parliament now awaits endorsement and formal adoption by both institutions.

This move represents a significant step forward in realising the objectives outlined in the Green Deal Industrial Plan, which aims to enhance Europe’s net-zero industry competitiveness and support the transition to climate neutrality.

The Net-Zero Industry Act, alongside the Critical Raw Materials Act and the electricity market design reform, forms a crucial part of Europe’s strategy to accelerate the transition towards a sustainable and green economy.