BusinessEurope Headlines No. 2019-39
“The EU should present an alternative to the models presented by the USA and China, and gain global leadership in addressing new geopolitical challenges”, said BusinessEurope’s International Relations Director Luisa Santos at an event about improving trade agreements in the 21st century, organised by Renew Europe at the European Parliament on 10 December. Santos explained that the EU must remain engaged and defend the World Trade Organisation (WTO), but also be pragmatic: if rules cannot be delivered on the multilateral level, then bilateral agreements can and should push ahead in important areas like digital, services liberalisation, competition, as well as social and environmental standards. “Trade agreements can play a key role in promoting sustainability in third countries. However, we’ll need a carrot to convince our partners to engage, and that carrot is the economic component of trade agreements”, Santos added.
Contact: Eleonora Catella
“Fostering investments in our innovation strengths will be crucial to tackle climate change”, highlighted Alexandre Affre, Director for Industrial Affairs, at the event “Innovation, climate and the future – how to accelerate the contribution of new technologies to tackle climate”, which took place in Brussels on 9 December. He pointed out that as business is the main driver of innovation, it is essential that the new European Commission creates the conditions for companies to scale-up their investments in research and innovation. This is key to reach the EU’s ambitious climate objectives. In this context, Affre emphasised the need for more and smarter public investments, innovation-friendly legislation, skilled people and enhanced collaboration.
Contact: Carolina Vigo
"While 92% of Europeans indicate that they support the transition to a climate neutral economy by 2050, we see onshore wind turbine applications in Germany going down by more than 80% due to public opposition. This indicates governments and business must engage the public more effectively with the actual implementation of the energy transition", said BusinessEurope's Climate and Environment Adviser Leon de Graaf on 8 December at the Major Economies Business Forum (BizMEF) COP25 Business Dialogue in Madrid, Spain. "Europe must put in place an effective just transition plan that boosts high-quality employment, reskills the existing workforce and increases the number of graduates in fields relevant for the energy transition. Business stands ready to help in making that happen", he added.
Contact: Leon de Graaf
"Europe's existing 2030 energy and climate policy framework will require an additional EUR 270 billion per year to be implemented, most of which will be carried by businesses and households. Europe should therefore firstly focus on implementing what it already has", said BusinessEurope's Climate and Environment Adviser Leon de Graaf on 5 December at an event organised by Club Alpbach Belgium Brussels on the European Green Deal. Other challenges to be addressed, he added, “are the need for enough affordable, clean energy for Europe's industries - whose demand will increase 3-4 times in the coming decades - and making sure that other G20 economies pledge for climate neutrality as soon as possible".
Contact: Leon de Graaf
- 12-13 December: European Council
- 19 December: Environment Council
- 1 January: Croatian Presidency of the Council of the EU
- 13-16 January: World Future Energy Summit