STORY: It's been dubbed the 'Green Deal Industrial Plan.'
The European Commission has set out proposals
designed so that Europe can compete with the U.S. as a green manufacturing hub and reduce its dependence on China.
(Ursula von der Leyen, European Commission President) "The fight against climate change is a must: a must for our planet, a must for our economic prosperity and a must for our strategic independence. We are competitive. We need competition."
So what's in the proposed plan?
It includes increased levels of state aid to green projects, a repurposing of existing EU funds, faster approval of green projects, drives to boost skills, and to seal trade agreements to secure supplies of critical raw materials.
The deal is partly in response to multi-billion-dollar support programs in China and the United States, including the latter's Inflation Reduction Act.
Many EU leaders are concerned that the local content requirements of the $369 billion of green subsidies in the U.S. legislation will encourage companies to relocate, making the United States a leader in green tech at Europe's expense.
(Ursula von der Leyen, European Commission President) "We know that in the next years the shape of the economy, the net zero economy, and where it is located will be decided. And we want to be an important part of this net zero industry that we need globally."
But the deal isn’t set isn’t set in stone and faces resistance.
Some EU member states have expressed concern over the loosening of state aid rules
and the prospect that bigger countries such as France and Germany would be able to outspend others.
There is also clear resistance from some EU members to suggestions that the plan could eventually entail further joint borrowing.