The Commission, Parliament, and Council of the European Union (EU) have agreed on greenhouse gas neutrality by 2050 to become the world’s first climate-neutral continent and an increase in the interim target for 2030 from 40 % to 55 % CO2 reduction in the EU. The basis for comparison is 1990.
The German Chemical Industry Association (VCI) supports an ambitious EU climate policy. “With the new target, the EU will spearhead climate efforts among industrialized nations,” said VCI CEO Wolfgang Große Entrup. At the same time, however, the association expects that the necessary follow-up regulations from Brussels for the realization of the higher interim target will contain concrete measures to adequately protect industry from international competitive disadvantages.
“Targets alone do not protect the climate; what matters now are the concrete measures and fair burden-sharing. Climate protection and industry need each other; transformation cannot be achieved at the push of a button. Moreover, industry and the energy sector have already contributed disproportionately to reducing emissions. The other sectors must now also make their fair contribution,” Grpße Entrup adds
In the VCI’s view, four prerequisites must be met to achieve both the interim target and greenhouse gas neutrality by 2050 in the EU:
- Massive expansion of renewable energy and related infrastructure across the EU. Only the availability of cheap green power will enable the transformation of the chemical industry and the economy as a whole. Electrification of technical processes will lead to a significantly higher demand for green power.
- Realization of the hydrogen internal market and its international embedding. Hydrogen is a key feedstock for the transformation of the chemical-pharmaceutical industry to a greenhouse gas-neutral future.
- Promote innovation and investment in transformative technologies at both Member State and EU levels. New products and processes need to be rapidly available, market-ready, and competitive. This requires more public and private spending and investment, as well as joint projects.
- Support innovations in a technology-open manner, maintain freedom of action, and pragmatically enable transitional technologies. Technical progress is an open, evolving process. This applies, for example, to low-carbon hydrogen (as a bridge) or chemical recycling.
- Verband der Chemischen Industrie (VCI), Frankfurt, Germany
- EU climate action and the European Green Deal, European Union