Franco-German issue joint call for growth strategy on energy transition

Franco-German issue joint call for growth strategy on energy transition

A joint call for action issued by France and Germany on the eve of today's Competitiveness Council (24 May) proposes measures to boost industry competitiveness for the next five years, targeting cross-border energy infrastructure, critical raw materials and discussions on the 2040 climate target.

The joint-paper signed by German Vice-Chancellor Robert Habeck, German Federal Minister for the Economy and Climate Protection, and Bruno Le Maire, French Minister for the Economy, Finance and Recovery, calls on the next European Commission's work programme to focus on specific priorities including simplifying red tape, achieving the Capital Markets Union and also addressing the energy transition.

“We need to further accelerate the transition of our energy systems,” it said, noting that rising geopolitical tensions have increased challenges for the bloc’s supply chains and access to critical raw materials.

Berlin and Paris underlined in the paper that private financing is the “natural first contributor” to fill the investment gap needed, which the European Commission estimates to be at €620m to meet initiatives setting out energy and climate transition targets.

“We will work together to find common ground on the future EU climate and energy framework for 2040. This will help lower electricity prices and strengthen European competitiveness,” the joint paper said.

“We will need to thoroughly implement our climate targets, while making sure to effectively prevent carbon leakage,” the paper stated, referring to the “swift implementation” of the Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM), a tool designed to support the decarbonisation of EU industry.

“The paper is in line with the general thinking within the government,” a German government official told a press briefing when launching the paper, in reference to the country’s three-way coalition.

“We don’t want to deteriorate the level of ambition on this paper … The goal is to find a common language to build on this [energy policy],” the German official added.