New EU leadership needs to act on the potential of cleantech

June 19, 2024

As the 2024 European Parliament elections have come to a close, cleantech players in Estonia are filled with anticipation for the future trajectory of the sector lead by the newly-elected EU leaders. The elections present an exciting opportunity for new European leadership willing to discuss the worries of cleantech developers. However, it also raises concerns about the direction Europe is heading.

Leading up to the elections, pan-Baltic think-tank Cleantech for Baltics published a vision paper calling attention to some of the challenges the European cleantech sector is facing. The paper states how, in recent years, Europe has experienced numerous crises, which have put our economy through the ultimate resilience test. In the Baltics, geopolitical instability has signaled the urgent need to strengthen energy security and expand renewable energy production capacity.

Clean technologies can help us meet immediate needs for a more secure living environment. Furthermore, ensuring continued support for the cleantech sector can position Europe as a leader in the sustainable economy of the future. By setting an example, young and agile Baltic states have the knowledge and experience to lead Europe in achieving swift and successful economic transformation.

Marek Alliksoo, CEO of Skycorp Technologies, emphasizes that the transition to a green economy should be viewed not as a threat but as a tremendous economic opportunity. He advocates for a clear message that the current business practices are unsustainable and underlines the need for determination from leaders in enabling innovation through supportive EU legislation.

While the role of cleantech in energy security is crucial, it’s important not to overlook other critical sectors. Mari-Ann Meigo Fonseca, Co-founder and COO of Gelatex, points out how a big opportunity lies in sustainable food production. There’s a vast potential in revolutionizing how we produce food, which can have profound impacts on our overall environmental footprint and strengthen our capacity to guarantee food security in an increasingly unstable world.

The challenges that have hit Europe can be a blessing in disguise, pushing us to be bolder, more innovative and quicker in making urgent decisions. The cleantech sector is eager to see new European leaders who recognize the interconnected nature of issues and are committed to building a supportive regulatory environment where cleantech can bloom.

The future of cleantech across Europe depends on visionary and forward-looking leadership. Our ultimate wish? New leadership must not only recognize the challenges but also act on the immense potential of the cleantech sector to fuel our economy. We seek clear communication from leaders on the role that clean technologies will play in the coming decades. This includes concrete actions on regulatory changes necessary to support the deployment of clean technologies. As well as decisions on increased funding and incentives for research and development to drive innovation forward.

Photo: European Commission representatives Yvon Slingenberg (Deputy Director-General in DG CLIMA) and Pierre Schellekens (Director for Strategy and Coordination in DG ENERG) visiting Tallinn this June.