Achieving climate neutrality by 2050 requires a system change – Cefic issues position on EU Climate Law
4th June 2020, – In March this year, the European Commission presented its proposal for the first EU-wide climate law. The law, once finalised, intends to enshrine the EU objective of climate neutrality by 2050 in legislation. Cefic supports the European Green Deal and Europe’s ambition to become climate neutral by 2050. As recognised in the European Green Deal Communication, energy-intensive industries, such as chemicals, are indispensable to Europe’s economy, as they supply key value chains.
“The Commission’s draft Climate Law clearly defines the ‘what and why’, it’s now essential to lay out a path how Europe can become climate neutral by 2050. We need a plan to stimulate the investments required to deliver the Green Deal objectives. The Commission’s Next Generation Recovery Plan is the first step in this direction”.Charles-Henri Robert, Cefic Executive Director Climate Change and Energy
Cefic identifies an overhaul of the current legislative and policy framework is needed to meet Europe’s climate-neutrality ambition and achieve the huge societal transformation required.
Charles-Henri Robert added, “The updated framework should look towards society at large and recognise the complexity and interlinkage between sectors of the economy.”
Cefic considers the following conditions essential for the chemical industry’s profound transformation:
- A sound and detailed definition of climate neutrality which provides a signal for long-term investments
The path to climate-neutrality must be based on a detailed definition; one which unites and strengthens European national actions and sets out clear rules and mechanisms for operating, including transborder greenhouse gas (GHG) projects for reduction accounting. The EU strives to be climate neutral but not in isolation from the rest of world.
- All sectors of the economy need to be on board to reach climate neutrality.
While managing the different global speeds of emission reductions, different sectors of the economy also reduce emissions at different rates. As the chemical sector is linked to many other sectors, it will require integrated efforts to further reduce GHG emissions, notably linked to the energy sector. Achieving climate neutrality must, therefore, be delivered through close collaboration across all the sectors of the economy.
- An enabling framework will be the key to success
Energy-intensive industries have called for a Clean Industry Package with concrete actions based on three pillars: the creation of markets for climate-neutral, circular economy products; developing climate-neutral solutions and financing their uptake; and the deployment of the necessary resources. To achieve the transition, our industry will need abundant supplies of low-carbon energy and much more energy than today. The EU Industrial Strategy package should lay the foundations to deploy radical industrial policies to accelerate Europe’s industrial transformation. Moreover, while preserving intra-EU competition, EU policies should also equip European industry to compete on a global scale.
“We are dealing with an enormous and costly challenge that requires a revolution of our industry and infrastructure as we know it. To turn our ambition into reality and trigger the much-needed investments, Climate Law must start by adapting the legal and policy framework to support climate-friendly materials and their transition across Europe, led by the framework of a radical industrial strategy” .Charles-Henri Robert, Cefic Executive Director Climate Change and Energy
How can Europe’s Chemical Industry help deliver on the Green Deal?
There is no European Green Deal without a strong European industry of the future.
“We see the transformation to a climate neutral and circular economy as a key driver of European jobs and economic growth, needed to kick start the EU economy after the COVID19 pandemic”.Marco Mensinks, Cefic Director General
Missed the POLITICO Europe’s Competitive Europe Summit, 1st July?
An occasion to hear our Director General Marco Mensink‘s view on the industry’s vision of a Sustainable Industrial Strategy and European Green Deal during the panel discussion with Pete Harrisson, Director for EU Policy, European Climate Foundation and Mauro Petriccione, director general, DG CLIMA, European Commission. The panel was moderated by Paola Tamma, POLITICO’s reporter.