The Commission has set the ambitious goals, via the Green Deal, to reach the global climate target of net zero by 2050 and, via the Fit for 55 package, to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to at least 55% below 1990 levels by 2030. To achieve these challenging goals, industry is playing a pivotal role by rethinking, among other issues, supply & value chains. But is equally leads to a deep transformation within the MET sector. However, it must be recognised by policy makers that a transformation of this magnitude takes time to implement. It must be done while safeguarding the global competitiveness and ensuring that European companies can, at least preserve, and ideally increase, their market share in a globalised world.
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In its paper Ceemet identifies four issues for industry:
- Investment in technology & research, development and innovation
- Supply & value chains
- Finance for the Green Transition
- Rightly skilled workforce
Implementation of the green transition will require a complete transformation of energy generation systems, and in parallel, massive reductions in industrial processes, transport and buildings.
Bottlenecks in the supply chain have been hampering MET companies to continue their activities. Access to raw materials, and affordable energy sources, are key for MET companies. The Green Deal threatens to have a negative net impact on the MET industries due to increasing supply dependencies on Asia. Put simply, price volatility due to supply chain issues leads to an increase in the cost for companies of transitioning to a greener industry.
Massive investments will be required to realise the green transition of industry. In order to achieve the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions of 55%, companies will need to redouble their efforts and will invest unprecedented amounts.
The pandemic has exacerbated an already existing skills gap; with vacancies in companies increasing steeply, companies’ ability to recover from the pandemic has been hindered. In order to benefit from the possibilities of the greening of industry, extensive investments in upskilling and reskilling of the industrial workforce will be needed. The transformation of industry will affect national and regional labour markets and entail a redesign of skills needs.