2022 Facts and Figures of the European Chemical Industry

With most of all manufactured goods relying on chemicals, Europe’s chemical industry is a crucial element of almost all value chains and a vital part of Europe’s economy.

During the last two years marked by the pandemic and the subsequent economic crisis, our sector proved in practice its strategic role for Europe producing the necessary health care materials and equipment. Tomorrow’s world will become even more so a world created by chemistry, as many future climate-neutral and circular solutions rely on chemistry, from wind turbines to electric vehicles. Consequently, the European Commission has recognised the chemical industry for its “indispensable” role to help society achieve the new European Green Deal objectives. 

Our European chemical industry has the ambition to become climate neutral by 2050, and the sector is uniquely positioned at the heart of European manufacturing to contribute to realizing a climate-neutral society. At the same time, the chemical industry must remain competitive while undergoing a green and digital “twin” transition in order to become climate-neutral, circular and digital, all while navigating the Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability (CSS), which will not only affect the sector economically for the years and decades to come, but it will also create a significant “ripple effect” across many value chains relying on chemicals.

For this transition to be successful, a clear pathway that includes concrete timelines, milestones, and measures should be put forward by EU policymakers in close collaboration with Industry. This Transition Pathway for the chemical industry should ensure the availability of competitively priced renewable and low-carbon energy, promote innovation and the deployment of breakthrough technologies, support the development of relevant infrastructure and facilitate access to public and private finance.