Vestager slams state aid ‘greenwashing’
The US’s Inflation Reduction Act sparks dispute over EU rules.
EU competition chief Margrethe Vestager has criticized calls to relax emergency state aid rules under what she said were false claims of increasing the bloc’s competitiveness in green tech.
“We should be mindful of green claims to push through subsidies, regulations or less competition when in reality they serve other purposes,” Vestager told an audience at the Antitrust, Regulation and the Political Economy conference in Brussels Thursday.
“In addition to damaging fair competition, greenwashing plays right into the hands of climate skeptics,” she said.
EU competition officials are currently in the process of reviewing the bloc’s temporary state aid rules to help European companies compete with global subsidy programs — including the United States’ €369 billion Inflation Reduction Act. Both France and Germany have been front-runners in pushing for softening of the bloc’s state aid checks and balances.
Ahead of a meeting of EU leaders in Brussels on March 23 and 24, a contingent of EU member countries has warned that too lax a state aid regime could result in “significant negative effects” such as the fragmentation of the internal market or harmful subsidy races.