Over the past few years, Europe has faced unprecedented challenges, notably with the COVID pandemic and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. This year, 2023, directly follows this difficult period characterised by the economic downturn, high energy prices and increasing competition on the global stage.
We hope that 2023 will first and foremost bring peace to Europe. At the same time, the energy crisis and supply chain issues have laid bare the need to strengthen Europe’s industrial resilience to undertake an ambitious transformation towards the 2050 EU Green Deal goals.
Our European chemicals industry supports the EU Green Deal and has the ambition to go climate neutral by 2050. This means, we need to change how we produce and what we produce in less than 30 years. And we need to do this while remaining globally competitive so that we could continue supplying to important EU value chains, including clean tech.
Indeed, we are facing the biggest transformation in the history of our sector, as we go climate neutral, circular, and digital at the same time as transitioning to safe and sustainable chemicals. All these actions require billions of additional investments between now and 2050. We need certainty that Europe is an attractive place for our industry to invest.
This is why the implementation of the dedicated Transition Pathway for our sector, published by the European Commission in January 2023, is vital to keep not only our industry in Europe, but also all other value chains depending on chemicals.
Chemicals are everywhere, and are present in more than 90% of manufactured goods. They are indispensable for disinfectants, medical devices and smart sensors to monitor health, for example. Solutions developed by the chemical industry extend the lifespan of wind turbines, turn waste into sustainable fibre for new clothes, and make electric vehicle batteries more powerful and efficient.
This is why having a strong and thriving EU chemical industry will remain key to achieving the objectives of the European Green Deal and our strategic autonomy.