“Don’t Bank on the Bombs” New European Standards Affecting the Defense Industry Briefings de l’Ifri, September 22, 2022
While Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on February 24, 2022, has underlined the need to upgrade the European armed forces, the urgency of the fight against climate change—as illustrated by reports from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)—requires the political mobilization of the European Union (EU) to carry out the transition to climate neutrality.
The EU has therefore established guidelines for ambitious action in these two areas. Via its Strategic Compass, adopted in March 2022, it intends to contribute to world stability with the support of a permanent and viable defense tool. Via its 2018 green finance plan, the European Commission aims to redirect financial flows toward sustainable activities and thus facilitate the 480 billion euros (€) of additional annual investments which will be necessary if it is to achieve its environmental objectives by 2030.
The tension between these two objectives— strengthening European defense on the one hand and promoting sustainable finance on the other—was made manifest in lively discussions regarding the integration of the defense sector into European taxonomy projects and the expansion of the Ecolabel. These proposals led to concerns among companies of the European Defence Technological and Industrial Base (EDTIB), wary of the perceived threat to their funding.
This content is available in French: “Don’t bank on the bombs”. L’industrie de défense face aux nouvelles normes européennes.