Why as European industry and citizens we must strive to make the European Green Deal a success

An open letter to citizens from Cefic’s new president Martin Brudermüller CEO BASF

Brussels, 15th October, 2020 – The New President of Cefic appointed on 15 October 2020, Martin Brudermüller, CEO of BASF, launches his Presidency with an open letter explaining why his industry supports the EU Green Deal and why chemistry is the key to unlocking its solutions.

I write this today as the new President of Cefic, the voice of Europe’s chemical industry, but above all, as a fellow European citizen who cares about our next generation.

I am honoured to have been elected Cefic President by my peers and I take this responsibility seriously, both in representing our industry and in ensuring we can continue to serve society to the very best of our abilities.

The European Commission has recognised the chemical industry for its “indispensable” role to help society achieve the new European Green Deal objectives. Cefic has clearly expressed our industry’s support for the Green Deal and Europe’s ambition to go climate neutral by 2050.

And we are not alone. China’s recent pledge to become carbon neutral by 2060 is encouraging and can be a key driver for a truly joint global effort!

This transition will bring huge challenges, but it also brings a set of opportunities for industry. In being successful, Europe must therefore show its leadership in innovating and deploying competitive new technologies for delivering a climate neutral, circular and digital transition. Whether it is chemistry for solar panels, wind turbines, batteries, building insulation, medicines, chemical recycling technologies or the huge variety of other solutions we provide, our European chemical industry can excel and thrive in delivering its innovation-led contributions to the Green Deal.

I firmly believe this is also the way to ensure sustainable economic growth and new jobs thrive and remain in Europe.

Supported by the major new, multi-billion European Recovery Plan package, Europe can move forward fast. If Europe’s many industries and companies are truly enabled to deliver to their strengths – such as coming up with world-class innovations – and are enabled to bring these to the market, we will jointly convert opportunity into success. But we will need to work with European policymakers and governments to have the right framework conditions in place that keep competitiveness during this transition in clear focus.

Explaining the industry’s abilities and the required enabling conditions will be Cefic’s main focus for the coming period. For Europe’s chemical industry, the Green Deal and climate neutrality by 2050 means a very deep transformation which must take place within only one or two investment cycles, while maintaining its strong position across global markets.

It is to the benefit of the European society that a strong and resource efficient chemical industry delivers the innovative and climate neutral technologies to succeed with the transition while creating jobs and growth at the same time.

I am convinced we can achieve the transition together, while becoming a European innovation hub and a focus area for investments into breakthrough technologies. We are prepared to strike a “Future Chemicals Deal” and I will make it my personal objective to discuss the right framework conditions with European leaders in order to find joint solutions to meet this immense challenge.

Martin Brudermüller

Cefic President