Press Release: Henrike Hahn, MEP (The Greens/ EFA) on the Net Zero Industry Act: Europe must do more for a competitive green industrial policy

Today, 25/04/2024, the European Parliament adopted the Net Zero Industry Act (NZIA) with 361 votes in favor, 121 against and 45 abstentions. Henrike Hahn MEP, member of the Industry Committee and spokesperson for industrial policy for the German Greens in the European Parliament, comments:

"Europe is sleeping on industrial policy. The green transformation for climate and environmental protection and competitiveness fit together perfectly, as the EU Chips Act and the EU Critical Raw Materials Act prove. Anyone who claims otherwise is telling fact-free fairy tales. Nevertheless, after the IRA, Europe will now still fall far short of its potential for green competitiveness.

Our future lies in wind and solar energy, green hydrogen and storage technologies. A climate-neutral economy by 2050 and the massive creation of green jobs are good goals. Because China and the USA, unlike Europe, are not sleeping. Accelerated approval procedures, the "net zero around academies" and new sustainability and resilience criteria in public procurement are excellent. But without a focus in the Net Zero Industry Act on key industries for decarbonization and competitiveness, this is not good enough.

We do not need nuclear technology, technologies that are not fully matured or greenwashed strategic projects. We can do better - with a focus on reducing emissions and on renewable energies. We are also open to the concept of "Net-Zero Industry Valleys", but those should not necessarily be built in nature reserves.

Reconciling economy and ecology in a competitive and socially responsible way remains the central task for Europe - especially after the European elections in 2024.



Today, the Net Zero Industry Act has been voted on in the plenary session of the European Parliament. In deviation from the voting behavior of the Greens/EFA group, the German MEPs of Bündnis 90 / Die Grünen abstained from the vote for the following reasons:  

China and the USA are investing massively in the technologies that are essential in a climate-neutral economy: Wind and solar energy, hydrogen and storage technologies, heat pumps and electricity grids. Europe is at risk of being left behind due to a fragmented industrial policy and hesitant investment policy. The Net Zero Industry Act is the first legislation at European level to address this challenge. For the first time, resilience, environmental and social standards are given greater weighting in public tenders and renewable auctions, thus supporting sustainable and local production. Approval procedures will be simplified and accelerated. These are important steps in the right direction.

The Commission had proposed a clear focus on strategic "no-regret" technologies. Unfortunately, Member States and Parliament have substantially expanded the list of net-zero technologies, so that this strategic focus is lost in the final act. For example, the text puts nuclear power on the same level as solar, wind and hydrogen. Furthermore, the NZIA includes a whole chapter for the ramp-up of carbon capture and storage without specifying which sectors should use it. Carbon capture and storage is an expensive, energy-intensive and as yet unproven technology and should only be used for those sectors for which there is no other option for decarbonization.

For these reasons, the German Green delegation in the EU Parliament is abstaining.


I will be happy to answer any further questions you may have.

zurück zur vorherigen Seite