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EU-US Task Force on the Inflation Reduction Act takes practical steps forward

Following a meeting in Washington DC, US President Joe Biden and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said that both the US and the EU are taking new steps to deepen their economic relationship while building the clean energy economies of the future.

In particular, they both said to be committed to addressing the climate crisis, accelerating the global clean energy economy and building resilient, secure and diversified clean energy supply chains. In this regard, both parties recognised that these objectives are at the heart of the US Inflation Reduction Act and the EU Green Deal Industrial Plan.

“By building and strengthening our own clean energy industrial bases and investing in the industries of the future, the United States and the European Union will create good-paying jobs and spark virtuous cycles of innovation that drive down costs for clean energy technologies in the global market, making those technologies more affordable and advancing a global just energy transition that will leave no community behind,” read the joint press statement.

Ms von der Leyen informed that the EU-US Task Force on the Inflation Reduction Act has taken practical steps forward on identified challenges to align the approaches to strengthening and securing supply chains, manufacturing and innovation on both sides of the Atlantic.

“We will deepen our cooperation on diversifying critical mineral and battery supply chains, recognising the substantial opportunities on both sides of the Atlantic to build out these supply chains in a strong, secure, and resilient manner,” continued the statement. “To that end, we intend to immediately begin negotiations on a targeted critical minerals agreement for the purpose of enabling relevant critical minerals extracted or processed in the European Union to count toward requirements for clean vehicles in the Section 30D clean vehicle tax credit of the Inflation Reduction Act. This kind of agreement would further our shared goals of boosting our mineral production and processing and expanding access to sources of critical minerals that are sustainable, trusted and free of labour abuses.”

At the same time, both parties recognised the need to make bold investments to build clean energy economies and industrial bases, including in electric vehicle batteries and clean hydrogen. The reason why the launch of the Clean Energy Incentives Dialogue was announced, to coordinate the respective incentive programs so that they are mutually reinforcing. The Clean Energy Incentives Dialogue will become a part of the EU-US Trade and Technology Council where it will also facilitate information-sharing on non-market policies and practices of third parties, such as those employed by the People’s Republic of China (PRC), to serve as the basis for joint or parallel action and coordinated advocacy on these issues in multilateral or other fora.

Both President Biden and von der Leyen also recalled how one year ago, the United States and the European Commission launched a new partnership to rapidly reduce Europe’s dependence on Russian fossil fuels and accelerate Europe’s green transition.

“This partnership has exceeded our goals, delivering more than double the US liquefied natural gas (LNG) supplies to Europe than our baseline pledge,” they said. „We note the significant European efforts to diversify their energy supplies and accelerate the energy transition, which have helped limit the impact of the global energy crisis in Europe.”

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