Towards implementing the Climate Law


The European chemical industry has the ambition to become climate neutral by 2050 and is uniquely positioned at the heart of European manufacturing to contribute to realizing a climate neutral society.  The industry invites the European Commission to work on a joint roadmap for the EU Chemical sector, setting out the conditions for a successful deployment of innovative technologies in order to meet this objective. Access to abundant and competitive low carbon energy, development of relevant infrastructure, as well as new market opportunities related to sustainable products, are key conditions to ensure that industry stays globally competitive during the transition.

The European chemical industry supports Europe’s 2050 ambitions 

We have welcomed the agreement on the EU Climate Law that was reached after 15 months of negotiations. On 30 June 2021, the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union adopted the European Climate Law as Regulation (EU) 2021/1119, establishing the framework for achieving climate neutrality and amending Regulations (EC) No 401/2009 and (EU) 2018/1999. The European Climate Law enshrines the EU objective of climate-neutrality by 2050, set out in the European Green Deal, in legislation. This means achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions for EU countries as a whole, mainly by cutting emissions, investing in green technologies and protecting the natural environment.  

The European chemical industry supports the Paris Climate Agreement and strong action on climate change in line with the scientific advice provided by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). As recognized 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 EU Chemicals Industry provides the wheels to achieve the EU’s climate neutrality objective. In this regard, Cefic has welcomed the agreement on the EU Climate Law highlighting, in particular, the importance of sectorial roadmaps that will assist sectors in planning the necessary investments. 

Unlike other sectors that are facing a twin ‘digital and green’ transition, the chemical industry’s challenge is in fact quadruple. In addition to climate neutrality and digitalization, the chemical industry must also factor in circularity objectives and implementation of the Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability – all happening at the same time. That makes a coherent and consistent sectoral approach for the chemical industry a need-to-have. 

Therefore, we now look forward to work together with the Commission on a joint roadmap for the EU chemical sector. 

Cefic’s iC2050 model provides a lens to explore paths towards climate-neutral chemical production 

Cefic Board has commissioned a project to develop a transition modelling tool, “iC2050”, to bring a concrete contribution to the EU’s climate objectives and further investigate possible transition pathways for the European chemical sector. At the core of this project, Cefic has developed an IT model that will allow to explore different possible pathways to climate-neutral chemical production. 

With the iC2050 project and model, we add the ‘HOW’ to the climate neutrality discussion. The iC2050 model will help us identify possible solutions to mitigate our impact on climate, not only in the EU but also globally, by considering the climate impact of our operations throughout the value chain, starting upstream. The tool will also help us to better define the necessary conditions for allowing chemical production in the EU to become climate-neutral by 2050, by quantifying for example the amount of natural resources and capital investments needed under various scenarios.

This model is developed together with Deloitte in full compliance with competition law. As a next step, we look forward to continuing the work by initiating discussions with our external stakeholder community, to understand how different visions and approaches would impact the results of the iC2050 model.

Mohamoud Zeinab, Assistant Legal Affairs/Industrial Transformation Projects