In Davos, European distress because of a “Made in America” law
While the risk of lost investment in Europe is evident, some delegates said it was more important to commend Washington for its huge investment plans in clean energy and technology, after the nation has been berated in the past for not taking enough action on the climate would have.
“In my view, the anti-inflation law is by far the most important climate change measure after the 2015 Paris Agreement,” said Fatih Birol, executive director of the International Energy Agency, in an interview. “I understand that many countries, including European countries, see that this could pose some challenges for them.”
Although they have legitimate concerns, he added: “I would say that Europe can develop its own clean energy industrial framework as a complementary tool.”
Andrea Fuder, chief purchasing officer for the Volvo Group, the Swedish company that builds trucks, buses and construction equipment in the United States and elsewhere around the world, said her company appreciates the American legislation and expects it to help the company in doing so going to help his net reach zero goals.
“There’s quite a bit of noise in Europe about this now, but I think it’s now up to the European Union to come up with good answers,” Ms Fuder said.
Ann Mettler, vice president for Europe at Breakthrough Energy, a Bill Gates-backed investment fund and former director-general of the European Commission, praised the Inflation Reduction Act for its simplicity and said it makes a lot of sense because the United States needs to “accelerate the energy transition” and shift production of key clean technologies out of China.
The law should lead to an investment boom in the United States, Ms Mettler predicted, and potentially lead to breakthroughs in new technologies like green hydrogen.