Cefic welcomes EU efforts in mainstreaming sustainable finance and positioning it as a precursor to achieving European and global climate ambitions. As a sector “indispensable to Europe’s economy”, the European chemical industry is an industry of industries, providing building blocks on which modern societies are built; our materials are found in all industries. To maintain European competitiveness while contributing to the sustainable transformation, the chemical industry requires significant investment – up to hundreds of billions of euros – meaning access to finance is critical. To mobilize finance towards the most sustainable technologies, the future Taxonomy should consider interconnected “industrial ecosystems” and reflect the real functioning of industrial value-chains, beginning with raw materials and ending with final products. Following the publication of the final report of the Technical Expert Group (TEG), the future Taxonomy should consider gradual and flexible thresholds, address the further development of innovative solutions such as chemical recycling and consider the role of virgin plastics and other basic chemicals in increasing the performance and efficiency of materials and in climate change mitigation.
Chemistry can help Europe achieve its sustainability goals
As one of the largest and most diversified industries in Europe, the chemical sector provides the technological solutions needed to deliver many sustainability objectives. Chemistry is enabling the transition to renewables: chemical companies are producing the materials enabling solar and wind energy, lightweight electric cars and electricity storage. Chemistry is also necessary to increase energy efficiency in buildings, through the production of insulation materials. Innovations in the chemical industry are also enabling the design of fully recyclable products as well as providing the technological solutions to facilitate the recycling of materials, such as asphalt, which are typically difficult to recycle.
To support the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and to succeed with greenhouse gas emissions reductions in line with the Paris Agreement, the European Commission published its Action Plan on Financing Sustainable Growth in May 2018. With the objective to mobilize finance for sustainable growth, the Action Plan proposes several initiatives aimed at re-orienting investments towards more sustainable economic activities.
One of the proposals is the Taxonomy Regulation, which seeks to create a framework to identify which economic activities are environmentally sustainable. As the chemical industry is a key enabler of sustainable innovation, Cefic is closely following the development of the framework.
Position paper and supporting documents