EU turns up the heat on industry climate action

“The EU is aiming to mobilise trillions of euros to help the economic recovery from COVID-19. These recovery trillions must ensure some of Europe’s most polluting sectors – the energy-intensive industries such as cement, chemicals and steel – move to sustainable, climate-neutral production.” – Industrial Transformation Policy Coordinator, Doreen Fedrigo.


In March 2020, CAN Europe reacted quickly to the publication of the EU’s Industrial Strategy and Circular Economy Action Plan, which set out industry contributions to European Green Deal objectives. Our industrial transformation position paper identified a lack of direction, targets, timelines, monitoring and evaluation to ensure climate neutrality.

Industry must reduce its energy and resource use, switch to more sustainable materials and redesign its production processes and business models. This transformation requires clear EU industry-related policies and tools. Industry action needs to address multiple social and environmental crises that are interlinked – climate, resource use and pollution.

We engaged with EU policy-makers to ensure that Industrial Strategy bodies were created and were clearly open to civil society.  We also took part in the High Level Group on Energy-Intensive Industries and reached out on the Circular Economy Action Plan, highlighting the need for stronger links between climate and circularity. We called for a sustainable product policy initiative and the prioritisation of energy-intensive products like cement, chemicals and steel.