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Sustainability Policies Cefic Reveals Position on EU Climate Law Aiming to Achieve Climate Neutrality by 2050

Editor: Ahlam Rais

The European Chemical Industry Council (Cefic) believes that there is a need to revise the current legislative and policy framework in Europe order to meet the goal of climate neutrality in the future.

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All the sectors of the economy must work together to deliver on climate neutrality suggests Cefic’s position paper on EU Climate Law.
All the sectors of the economy must work together to deliver on climate neutrality suggests Cefic’s position paper on EU Climate Law.
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Belgium – In March this year, the European Commission came forward presenting 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, announced by Marco Mensink, Cefic Director General in March. As recognised in the European Green Deal Communication, Energy Intensive Industries, such as chemicals, are indispensable to Europe’s economy, as we 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”, Cefic Executive Director for Climate Change and Energy, Charles-Henri Robert stated.

Cefic identifies that an overhaul of the current legislative and policy framework is needed to meet the climate-neutrality challenge and the huge societal transformation that it requires. “The updated framework should look towards society at large and recognise the complexity and interlinkage between sectors of the economy.” Robert explains the context and starting point for Cefic’s position on EU Climate Law.

Cefic’s position paper on EU Climate Law puts forward a number of proposals including calls for:

• A sound and detailed definition of climate-neutrality providing 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. For example, we will probably depend on resource imports to achieve climate neutrality. It also remains important that the future framework, while taking into account national specificities, does not lead to a nationalisation of climate policy and fragmented action inside the EU.

• 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. Therefore, all the sectors of the economy must work together to deliver on climate neutrality.

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• 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, our 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.

“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” Robert concludes.

Click here to read the Cefic position on climate law: https://cefic.org/app/uploads/2020/05/Cefic-position-on-the-Commission-proposal-for-a-European-Climate-Law-FINAL.pdf

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