“Innovative companies need to hear their voice.”

What was the ambition of the European Green Deal or Green Agreement? How is that development?

Pascal Canfin: The Green Pact for Europe (Green Deal) is a set of 54 laws aimed at systematically transforming our economy. Few economic sectors “escape” the Green Deal and its various texts. Its basic purpose is to achieve climate neutrality in Europe by 2050. As long as the two industrial revolutions so far took 250 years to invent the carbon economy, there is 28 years to invent and deploy the zero carbon economy. We need entrepreneurs, innovation, technological advances, and organizational advances. This is where digital can play a big role.

The Green Agreement project for Europe was formalized in 2019, starting with climate and classification laws, and the first law was passed in 2020. We are currently negotiating a “Fit for 55” legislative package, a legislation related to the end of sale of the carbon market or thermal vehicles in Europe. At the end of March, new textbooks such as the Circular Economy will be announced. This is an ongoing process and must be completed by the end of 2024.

The Green Deal has not been challenged by the pandemic. Will he also survive the geopolitical crisis in Ukraine?

pc: pc: What we are doing is the first in the world. The carbon border tax mechanism was at risk of a deadlock, but we were able to vote for it. I have just signed a textbook on green finance. This proves that energy and political will are there. The project never fails, and on the contrary, we do everything to accelerate the project in the coming months. Some companies are playing games progressively, while others are working to delay implementation due to the impact. Our role is to find ways to achieve climate neutrality, taking into account economic, industrial and geopolitical realities.

During the 2020 Covid crisis, Business Europe (Lobby, Editor’s Note Defending the Interests of Private Enterprise Employers in the European Employers Association and the European Union) I started to say it was necessary Lower priority European green deal. That’s why I formed an alliance for green recovery with 100 major European bosses at the time to counter this idea of ​​breaking the fight between recovery and climate change. We have won this battle since 37% of Europe’s reconstruction plan of € 750 billion was devoted to climate investment. We managed to get going by explaining that we were going to revive the economy in the right direction. Today the stakes are the same. If we want to reduce Russia’s reliance on fossil fuels, we need to accelerate Europe’s energy shift and tackle food sovereignty and more.

What role can digital companies play in this famous European Green Deal?

pc: pc: The digital sector is expected on two topics. The first is the reduction of the digital footprint. The text has been voted on this subject, especially at the cryptocurrency level.

The role of digital and technological breakthroughs that enable the achievement of carbon neutrality must not be ignored. Even I, who is working on this subject, does not know all the technologies that exist and can address the migration issues we are facing.

The digital sector needs to be organized to emphasize its ability to accelerate the transition to carbon neutrality.Explode, need confusion: can’t be satisfied with the scenario Business as usual Change patterns and things on a large scale.

Brussels is the second largest lobbying capital after Washington. Companies have a well-structured, strong and politically connected public affairs sector to protect their interests. I am not against lobbying. We need to interact with the enterprise, but today this balance of power is imbalanced. 90% of civil servants represent companies that have emerged from carbon rents. With the exception of the American giant, there are no representatives in the tech world. In order to hear the world of technology and its contribution to this transition in a single voice, this expression needs to be organized together.

SMEs that offer innovative solutions often see public affairs as cake icing after they are large enough. But things are changing now. No matter how small a company can contribute to the transition, they need to speak out and participate in defining new rules for the game. Verkor’s example in the field of batteries fully illustrates this possibility. In 2019, the company had two employees, now 120 and tomorrow it will be 1,200.

One of the ambitions of this agreement is also to fund innovation and research. European countries cannot contribute to this transition alone. How can a company make a financial commitment?

computer : Beyond standards, we are formulating investment strategies with public and private pillars. The public pillar corresponds to the reform of recovery plans and the Stability and Growth Pact aimed at increasing public investment in the transition.

There are several strategies to increase private investment in the transition. The first is to create a regulatory shock that forces companies to respond. The ban on the sale of new non-electric vehicles from 2035 will force the companies involved to invest in the electric vehicle production chain.

At the same time, public institutions must promise to purchase low-carbon products to mitigate the risk of investment.I want to develop Contract for difference This allows you to set the carbon price at 200 euros and make up for the difference as long as the market does not reach this price. Public and private investment is essential to finance the transition.

The idea of ​​this agreement is to have a logic of sustainable competitiveness. The worst thing is to remove Europe’s industrial base. This is because setup and maintenance are considered too complicated. There is this ambition in carbon border adjustment. When Turkish or Chinese steel arrives in France, the company will have to pay the same carbon price as if the steel were from a European company. Therefore, we avoid climate dumping that reassures investors.

It should also be remembered that we are the region with the highest number of green patents ahead of China and the United States. As we have the ability to develop technology, work and value, we have every interest in funding the decarbonization of the economy. We are also the country with the fewest fossil resources. Therefore, we are geopolitically very dependent on other countries. Reducing this dependence is essential to investing in ecosystem migration.

Europe aims to become the second supplier of batteries by 2025. Verkor plans to set up a mega factory in northern France. How is this European strategy implemented and how do you think of Europe before thinking at the national level?

computer : We are optimizing things on a European scale. We were completely absent from the battery production market 10 years ago. However, it is an important industrial target for energy storage and the ecology transition of electric vehicles. Such strategic objectives cannot depend on other countries.

We have developed a European strategy for home production by creating a European battery alliance. By 2025, we will be the second largest battery manufacturer after China. To prove it, we succeed when we give ourselves the means to have an industrial leader at the European level. On a European scale, you can optimize costs.

Europe, which had the logic of simply buying at the best price, has moved to the logic of production. Batteries manufactured and entering the European market are the most efficient from an environmental point of view.