Industry Committee loses focus on Net Zero Industry Act

Posted on 25 October 2023

In today’s vote, the Industry Committee in the European Parliament weakened the strength of the Net Zero Industry Act (NZIA) by opening up the legislation to too many technologies and allowing projects in Natura 2000 areas. WWF is concerned it will put the main goal of the Regulation, reaching our 2030 climate targets, at risk and waste taxpayers’ money on unproven technologies.
By amending the NZIA and changing the reference to the 2030 climate targets to the ‘Union’s climate neutrality targets’ the Industry Committee let go of the main objective of the whole regulation, which is boosting clean technologies in the coming decade to support the decarbonisation of EU industry. Instead it is now broadening the list of technologies to potentially include unproven technologies like nuclear fusion that could take decades to become available. 

In yesterday’s State of the Energy Union, the European Commission stated that the European Union is not on track to reach its climate targets for 2030 and that more climate action is needed. WWF regrets that the Industry Committee overlooked the potential of the Net Zero Industry Act to help European industry decarbonise on time, while boosting its competitiveness.

“Changing the scope of the Net Zero Industry Act risks diverting taxpayers’ money from the key green technologies we need to decarbonise our industry. 2030 is just around the corner; the EU should instead be investing in green technologies which are truly clean and can deliver fast decarbonisation, such as solar panel production and wind turbines, with renewable hydrogen and Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) technologies only for unavoidable emissions in targeted sectors. Focusing on the deployment of these green technologies is a key opportunity for European industries' future.” said Camille Maury, Senior Policy Officer on the Decarbonisation of Industry at WWF European Policy Office.

WWF also strongly regrets that Members of the Industry Committee failed to exclude the deployment of industrial clusters, so-called Net Zero Industry Valleys, in Natura 2000 sites. 

“Potentially placing these Net Zero Industry Valleys in Natura 2000 areas without any environmental impact assessment risks harming the environment and biodiversity. Nature is our best ally to slow down climate change and mitigate its consequences such as natural disasters. It’s crucial to think through where new manufacturing sites should be deployed. Proper spatial planning, environmental impact assessments, and consulting the local communities must be part of the equation,” said Camille Maury, Senior Policy Officer on the Decarbonisation of Industry at WWF European Policy Office.

The European Parliament is expected to vote on the Net Zero Industry Act in plenary in November.


Florian Cassier
Climate Communications Officer
+32 479 33 92 11
Manufacturing of wind turbines
© Douglas Barnes