- H2 Green Steel CEO Henrik Henriksson joins CEO Alliance leaders’ meeting in Paris to discuss ways to further support the EU Green Deal
- The European CEO Alliance believes that fighting climate change will require a collective effort by all EU member states and collaboration between the public sector and industry
- A strong carbon pricing signal on the European level is regarded as a key to achieving carbon neutrality by 2050 and cutting greenhouse gas emissions to 55% of 1990 levels by 2030
- Several cross-sector projects and policy recommendations will serve the global climate cause and foster sustainable growth and future-proof jobs.
As the EU Commission prepares to present its Fit for 55 legislative package, the European CEO Alliance has issued policy recommendations supporting a progressive and ambitious push to achieve climate neutrality. Tackling climate change requires strong collaboration between the public sector and industry, the Alliance announced after its meeting today in Paris. The Alliance would welcome a review of the EU’s major regulatory instruments, in particular subsidies for technologies with high CO2 emissions. The CEOs’ proposals include sending a strong carbon pricing signal, accelerating measures to decarbonize mobility and transport, buildings and energy systems, speeding up the renewal of key industry sectors in the EU.
“We are honored to have been invited to be part of this prestigious group of companies, sharing a conviction to support the EU Green Deal. We strongly believe that fighting climate change will require a collective effort by all EU member states. Collaboration between the public sector and industry is essential. With our leading expertise in hydrogen and CO2 free steel production, we can bring the latest knowledge to the table, to further enable and accelerate the transition of heavy industry towards sustainable operations,” says H2 Green Steel CEO Henrik Henriksson.
As one central instrument, Alliance members proposed a strong carbon price signal to achieve the EU’s climate targets. Carbon should have a price across the whole economy. The Alliance also called for continued enhancement of the EU’s Emissions Trading System (for power and heavy industry) and for the implementation of sector-specific cap-and-trade systems that would apply to mobility, transport and the buildings sector. Sector-specific systems could then converge beginning in 2030. Another proposal concerns a European carbon pricing system that would include measures to simultaneously achieve a social balance and emissions reduction.
Volkswagen Group CEO Dr. Herbert Diess: “Climate change will remain our greatest challenge over the next years and decades. The CEO Alliance fully supports the EU Commission’s climate goals, to which there is no alternative. Now it’s time to shift the political discussions towards getting it done. In an unprecedented move, the CEO Alliance with its industry-leading companies from across Europe calls for a carbon pricing signal covering all emissions across industries and countries.”
Decarbonizing mobility, transport and buildings will be the major challenges. For the transport and mobility sector, electric mobility for passenger cars, light vehicles and heavy duty vehicles has proven to be the most efficient technology in terms of energy consumption and emission reduction. To foster the entire ecosystem around electric mobility, members of the CEO Alliance have initiated cross-sectoral projects to ramp up battery production and create a charging infrastructure across Europe.
Turning its attention to the EU Commission’s Buildings Renovation Wave, the Alliance supports ambitious renovation targets (of at least 3% p.a.) to accelerate the transformation of the building stock. Buildings should meet higher standards regarding energy efficiency, renewables and sustainable materials. The Alliance also calls for fossil-fuel heating systems to be rapidly replaced by rolling out electric heat pumps, district heating and digital solutions. The CEOs are committed to applying this recommendation to their companies’ own buildings.
The European climate targets require a rapid build-up of renewable power generation and the direct electrification of mobility, transport and heating/air conditioning for buildings. The CEO Alliance is working on a project to integrate power systems, in particular grids, in order to create a system based mainly on renewables and flexible solutions.
The CEO Alliance for Europe’s Recovery, Reform and Resilience was formed in 2020 against the backdrop of the Covid-19 pandemic and the historic European Green Deal. The Alliance’s shared goal is to make the EU the world’s leading region for climate protection while unlocking investments, fueling innovations in new technologies and creating future-proof jobs.
The members view themselves as an “action tank,” working together on cross-sector pan-European projects at scale: cross-EU charging infrastructure for heavy duty trucks, integration of EU power systems (in particular grids), digital carbon footprint tracking, sustainable and healthy buildings for the future of work and living, e-buses for Europe, green hydrogen value chains and the rapid development of battery production. Further projects are being prepared, including one involving low carbon steel. The CEOs will deliver their first tangible results and discuss implementation with high-level EU representatives at a summit set for autumn 2021.
The Alliance brings together 12 top executives from the energy, transport and technology industries: Björn Rosengren (ABB), Thierry Vanlancker (AkzoNobel), Francesco Starace (ENEL), Leonhard Birnbaum (E.ON), Börje Ekholm (Ericsson), Henrik Henriksson (H2GreenSteel), Ignacio Galán (Iberdrola), Frans van Houten (Philips), Christian Klein (SAP), Christian Levin (Scania), Jean-Pascale Tricoire (Schneider Electric) and Herbert Diess (Volkswagen). McKinsey & Company is serving as a knowledge contributor for the CEO Alliance and is providing additional research and data.
About H2 Green Steel
H2 Green Steel (H2GS AB) was founded in 2020, aiming to build a large-scale fossil-free steel production in northern Sweden. H2 Green Steel will produce 5 million tons of fossil-free steel by 2030. By doing this, the company will contribute to the decarbonizing of the European steel industry, one of the largest carbon dioxide emitters. H2 Green Steel will establish operations in Boden and Luleå. The founder and largest shareholder is Vargas, which is also co-founder and one of the largest shareholders in Northvolt.