Unsplash @roblambertjr


EU Commission jeopardises industrial production in Europe

Companies depend on the swift and unbureaucratic permitting of their industrial plants in order to produce and remain competitive. At the same time, Germany is facing an enormous permitting marathon in order to achieve the European climate targets. With the proposals from April 2022 to extend the European Industrial Emissions Directive, the EU Commission is jeopardising these goals.

The EU Directive on Industrial Emissions (IED) regulates the approval and operation of industrial plants in Europe. The IED prescribes mandatory emission reduction requirements for industrial installations. Among other things, emissions to air, water and soil are addressed, as well as regulations on circular economy and energy efficiency. In the view of the BDI, the EU Commission's proposals to extend the European Directive on Industrial Emissions jeopardise industrial production in Germany and Europe. It will become much more difficult to obtain permits for industrial plants. There is a threat of relocation processes of production sites, which in turn will burden the environment and climate through lower standards elsewhere and additional transport routes abroad.

IED thwarts achievement of climate goals

Germany is facing an enormous permitting marathon in order to achieve the European climate goals. The IED proposal is counterproductive. The additional requirements prolong and complicate the procedures. With the proposed tightening of the IED, climate neutrality will not be achieved in time, but will be delayed without need.

The objectives of the Directive - improving environmental quality and creating a level playing field - are already being achieved today. Moreover, the process of describing best available techniques laid down in the Directive even ensures that the requirements for industrial installations are constantly reviewed and further developed. There is no need to tighten up the Directive.

No change to the IED in the current crisis

In view of the war in Ukraine, Europe must now preserve the economic strength of companies and work on quickly effective, targeted and temporary measures to cushion the crisis. German industry sees the danger of running into existential difficulties because of energy prices or because of an export ban on energy raw materials from Russia. Already, some energy-intensive companies are forced to curb their production because of steadily rising gas and electricity costs. How energy supply security will develop further is completely unclear at this point. In addition, there are significant problems in the global supply chains as a result of the Corona pandemic and the war. In addition, there is high inflation across Europe and the economy is cooling.

Businesses are reacting with increasing concern to the European Commission's plans, which are resulting in more and more new burdens for the economy. In the course of the Green Deal, the Commission is currently launching a large number of revisions of various directives and regulations in a very short time. We fear that a "business as usual" approach to European economic and environmental policy will cause small and medium-sized enterprises in particular to turn away from the European integration project.

Against this background, the amendment of the IED should not be pursued further until a clear look ahead is possible again. The Commission should therefore withdraw its proposal.