We support the European Green Deal and we want to help make it a reality.
It’s all about the “how”
Our European chemicals industry supports the EU Green Deal and has the ambition to go climate neutral by 2050.
We need to change how we produce and what we produce in less than 30 years.
And we need to do this while remaining globally competitive so that we could continue supplying to important EU value chains, including clean tech.
All these actions require billions of additional investments between now and 2050. We need certainty that Europe is an attractive place for our industry to invest.
the transition mean
for our sector?
The four dimensions of the Transition
We are facing the biggest transformation in our industry’s history as we go climate neutral, circular, digital while transitioning to safe and sustainable chemicals.
Going climate neutral
The EU chemical industry has the ambition to become climate neutral by 2050. We have already reduced our GHG emissions by over 60% over the past 30 years but to reach climate neutrality by 2050 we need breakthrough innovations and major changes in production processes.
Going climate neutral will require huge quantities of affordable renewable electricity. We will also need the necessary infrastructure to deliver the transition.
Deploying digital technologies like big data, artificial intelligence, robotics and blockchain as well as supporting innovation can make all our processes more transparent and efficient towards the overall green transition.
Many companies already use advanced sensors to monitor production parameters for greater energy and resource efficiency and deploy blockchain to pass information about chemicals along value chains to inform product circularity. Yet these opportunities come with many challenges: from designing common industry-wide data sharing principles to re-skilling and up-skilling our workforce.
Transition to safe and sustainable chemicals
The EU chemical industry is expected to phase out the most harmful substances from consumer products, unless they are essential for society. This goal means that our industry will have to significantly boost its research & innovation activities to develop and bring to the market safe and sustainable chemicals. Some of the challenges here are the risks of new products not being taken up by the market and the need for support to SMEs who often lack the means to pioneer new products and processes.
Our industry will need to reduce the use of non-renewable resources during production and ensure the materials we make can be recycled. We will have to accelerate the recycling of waste to make new chemicals, capture and use CO2/CO as feedstock for our processes and use waste biomass to advance bio-based chemistry.
On 27 January 2023,
The European Commission published the EU Chemical Industry Transition Pathway
Our industry must change how we produce and what we produce in less than thirty years from now. The challenge is unprecedented and requires billions of investments.
This is why we asked the European Commission to develop, together with us and other stakeholders, a dedicated Transition Pathway for our sector. This document lays out all conditions that need to be in place to enable the transformation.
The EU Chemical Industry Transition Pathway is available here.
Dutch MEP Bas Eickhout (Greens/EFA) had a conversation with the CEO of BASF and Cefic President Martin Brudermüller where they addressed the investment gap for the transition to 2050 and how to accelerate access to clean energy.
Listen to the conversation between Kerstin Jorna, the European Commission's Director-General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs and Cefic Director General, Marco Mensink where they introduce the EU Chemical Industry Transition Pathway.
The Transition Pathway provides a concrete roadmap which puts together all the pieces of the EU legislative agenda.
It is not “just”
Everyone should care about this transformation.
Chemicals are present in more than 90% of manufactured goods, and pretty much everything from solar panels to pharmaceuticals is made with the help of chemicals. We are also a key supplier of the clean tech industry.
Chemicals are indispensable for disinfectants, medical devices and smart sensors to monitor health . Solutions developed by the chemical industry extend the lifespan of wind turbines, turn waste into sustainable fibre for new clothes, and make the electric vehicle batteries more powerful and efficient.
The Way Forward
We need the actions to be implemented
Over 8 “building blocks’ the Chemical Industry Transition Pathway puts in place nearly 200 actions for industry, EU institutions, Member States, trade unions and other stakeholders to help industry transform.
We need the actions to be implemented and we want to see the Transition Pathway transformed in to national Transition Pathways.