European Round Table for Industry (ERT)

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Brussels , Belgium

Climate Lobbying Overview: The European Round Table for Industry (ERT) active and mixed engagement on climate policy in Europe. Its positions on top-line climate ambition and some specific policy areas such as energy efficiency and carbon taxation appear to have become increasingly positive in since 2019, but it retains more negative positions on the EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS).

Top-line Messaging on Climate Policy: The European Round Table for Industry (ERT) seems to take broadly supportive positions in its top-line messaging on climate policy. In December 2021, ERT stated support for the European Green Deal and climate neutrality in the EU by 2050 in a position paper. However, in a June 2021 statement on the Fit for 55 package, ERT appeared to qualify its broad support for climate change regulations with statements that imply a tension between climate policy and economic competitiveness, stating “European industry can only transform if it is competitive.” A December 2020 position paper supported the goals of the UN Paris Agreement and the association advocated for international co-operation to deliver Article 6 of the Paris Agreement in a trade policy expert paper in November 2020.

Engagement with Climate-Related Regulations: ERT seems to take mixed positions in its engagement with key climate change regulations in the EU. In a May 2022 statement on EU energy policy, ERT stated support for the EU's 2030 target of 55% GHG emissions reductions. In the same 2022 statement, ERT stated support for an increase in ambition of the Energy Efficiency Directive and policies and advocated for swift adoption of the Renewable Energy Directive. The association also stated support for the EU’s ReFuelEU Aviation policy to increase uptake of sustainable aviation fuels in a December 2021 position paper.

Parallel to these increasingly positive positions, ERT appeared to question the Phase IV revision of the EU ETS in 2021, describing the frequent adjustments relating to increased climate ambition as “an obstacle for industry investment decisions” despite recognizing the need for increased ambition from ETS sectors. ERT also highlighted the threat of carbon leakage as a consequence of the EU ETS in a 2021 position paper ahead of the publication of the EU ‘Fit for 55’ Package in July. Since then, in a May 2022 statement, the association advocated for the EU to "review" the ETS proposal due to "the carbon leakage threat for European producers". In a statement on the Fit for 55 package in June 2021, the association appeared to support a carbon border adjustment mechanism (CBAM), but stated this support on the basis that the mechanism should be “additional and complementary to free allowances and the compensation for indirect costs in the EU ETS”, and on the condition that the existing carbon leakage protections under the EU ETS were gradually phased out in a transition to a new post-2030 carbon pricing policy framework. However, in a May 2022 statement, the association advocated for a "review" of the CBAM alongside the EU ETS, citing the threat of carbon leakage.

Positioning on Energy Transition: Evidence suggests that the European Round Table for Industry (ERT) supports the energy transition, however it has also advocated for an increase in EU fossil gas production since the invasion of Ukraine in February 2022. In a 2020 position paper ERT advocated for the electrification of industry and the decarbonization of the energy mix, as well as the revision of the Energy Taxation Directive in line with Europe’s new climate goals. However, in the same paper the association seemed to support the use of natural gas as a transition fuel without specifying conditions on the use of CCS. In a May 2022 statement in relation to the EU's RePowerEU proposal to reduce reliance on Russian fossil fuels, ERT advocated for the EU to reduce its demand for fossil gas, broadly supporting the EU Gas and Hydrogen Decarbonization Package. However, in the same statement the association also argued that the EU should "activate all options to produce gas".

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