Transitioning to a climate-neutral economy is important to transform the European industrial base, including the energy, manufacturing, transport and construction sectors.
Towards a climate-neutral economy by 2050
On 28 November 2018, the Commission presented its strategic long-term vision for a prosperous, modern, competitive and climate-neutral economy by 2050. The strategy shows how Europe can lead the way to climate neutrality by investing in realistic technological solutions, empowering citizens, and aligning action in key areas such as industrial policy, finance, or research – while ensuring social fairness for a just transition.
See more on the 2050 long-term strategy.
Monitoring energy prices
In January 2019, the Commission published a new edition of the Report on energy prices and costs in Europe. The report analyses the recent trends in energy prices and costs faced by EU citizens and companies, looks at the drivers of these trends and uses the resulting conclusions to assess existing energy policy measures.
The accompanying staff working document includes sectorial case studies in its annex 1. This provides a detailed analysis of energy prices and costs borne by EU producers in the following energy intensive industries:
- bricks and roof tiles
- wall and floor tiles
- glass tableware
- packaging glass
- aluminium (including primary, secondary and downstream activities)
- steel (including electric arc furnace and basic oxygen furnace)
- nitrogen fertilisers and refineries
See the final report of the sectorial case studies.
Across all sectors, both electricity and natural gas prices reached a peak between 2011 and 2013 and then decreased. By 2017, recorded prices had returned to pre-crisis levels. In general, larger consumers tend to experience lower prices per unit of energy consumption and lower costs per unit of production, but significant disparities existed between industrial sectors and between EU countries. Regulatory components (e.g. network costs, non-recoverable taxes and levies, etc.) can account for more than half of the electricity price in some cases (the impact of the regulatory components on natural gas prices is much more limited). At international level, the energy costs borne by EU producers in sectors like bricks and roof tiles, aluminium, steel or nitrogen fertilisers appear to be higher than costs faced by their competitors, especially in Russia and the USA. These cost differentials may be detrimental to the EU's competitiveness. Energy costs may account for between 2% and 43% of total production costs depending on the sector and represent an important factor for competitiveness in energy-intensive industries.
See more on energy prices and costs Europe.
Sustainable Industry Low Carbon (SILC) programmes
The Sustainable Industry Low Carbon (SILC) Initiative supports industry by providing grants for the development, demonstration and dissemination of low-carbon technologies and for the adoption of these technologies within and across sectors.
Low carbon business project with Brazil and Mexico
The Partnership Instrument 2014-2020 implemented this project. It will promote cooperative partnerships between EU, Mexican and Brazilian businesses. In addition, it will provide technical assistance to elaborate potentially profitable joint low-carbon business proposals.