The EU Green Deal and Europe’s ambition to become climate-neutral by 2050


Within the framework of the EU Green Deal, the European Commission came forward presenting its proposal for the first EU-wide climate law in March 2020. The law, once finalised, intends to enshrine the EU objective of climate-neutrality by 2050 in legislation. Cefic supports the Green Deal and Europe’s ambition to become climate neutral by 2050. As recognized in the European Green Deal Communication, Energy Intensive Industries, such as chemicals, are indispensable to Europe’s economy, as our sector supplies key value chains.

Achieving climate-neutrality by 2050 requires a system change

The European chemical industry supports the Paris Climate Agreement and a strong action on climate change in line with the scientific advice provided by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Cefic also supports the European Green Deal and Europe’s ambition to become climate neutral by 2050.  Reaching this goal will only be possible with the help of climate-neutral and circular economy solutions developed by our industry.  We want to see Europe become a global innovation hub and a hotspot for investments into breakthrough climate-neutral and circular technologies.

Climate-neutrality by 2050 means going through a deep transformation within just one or two investment cycles. The EU chemical industry intends to grasp the opportunities arising from the transition to a climate-neutral and circular economy. To make the transition happen and to trigger the huge societal changes that it requires, Cefic is convinced that for the longer-term a fundamental rethink of both, the legal and policy architecture, is needed when looking at EU-wide climate and energy matters. The updated framework should consider society at large and recognise the complexity of value chains and their interlinkages.

Cefic’s position paper on EU Climate Law puts forward a number of proposals to; provide clear long-term signals for investments; to ensure a coherent approach at EU level with contributions from all sectors of the economy; as well as outlines identifies the enabling conditions.

Cefic’s position

A sound and detailed definition of climate-neutrality 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 GHG projects for reduction accounting.   The EU wants to be climate neutral as a continent but not in isolation from the rest of world.

All sectors of the economy need to be on board to reach climate neutrality
Besides managing the different global speeds of reducing emissions, different sectors of the economy also reduce emissions at different rates. The chemical industry requires integrated efforts to reduce further greenhouse gas emissions, notably linked to the energy sector. All the sectors of the economy must work together to deliver on climate-neutrality.

An enabling framework will be the key to success
All 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 its transition, the chemical industry will need much more energy than today, and this energy will have to be low-carbon. The EU Industrial Strategy package should create the foundations for deploying radical industrial policies to accelerate the European Green Deal transformation of the EU industry. Moreover, EU policies should not only preserve intra-EU competition but also equip European industry to compete on a global scale.


Position paper and supporting documents

Cefic Supports Green Deal and Climate Neutrality

The Green Deal recognises that energy-intensive industries, such as chemicals, are indispensable for Europe’s transition, as solution providers to multiple value chains. Climate neutrality by 2050 means going through a deep transformation within just one or two investment cycles. The EU chemical industry intends to grasp the opportunities arising from the transition to a climate…

Treatment of GHG emissions under the IED | Cefic position

2030 target plans | Cefic position

Cefic position on the Commission proposal to step up Europe’s 2030 climate ambition

European Climate Law | Cefic position

Chemical Strategy for Sustainability | The Chemical industry and its contribution to the strategic industrial ecosystems for the Recovery (CSS)

“It is impossible to build a better future for Europe without a successful European chemical industry” We serve society with products that people value and that support people’s natural desires for better lives, a healthy planet, peace and prosperity. We are a €650 billion industry that produces everything from soaps to solvents and sealants and…

Chemical Strategy for Sustainability | Cefic’s response to the Roadmap on the Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability (CSS)

Cefic calls for a Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability (CSS) that recognises the essential role of chemicals to deliver climate ambitions, ensures a high level of safety and integrates holistically the multiple dimensions of the Green Deal – climate neutrality, materials circularity and resource efficiency – while boosting competitiveness and innovation to serve Europe’s strategic interests….

Chemical Strategy for Sustainability | Input Paper on the Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability (CSS)

This paper outlines the preliminary views and proposals of the European chemical industry, as represented by Cefic, on the future Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability proposed by the European Commission under the EU Green Deal. Its content may evolve at the light of future developments. It is organised in two part: 1. an overview outlining the…

Joint Alliance submission to the 2030 Inception Roadmap