The VCI on the EU Summit decision regarding the climate package

Highly ambitious climate target: The VCI fears weaker growth and less competitiveness

In the view of VCI's director-general Utz Tillmann, the tighter climate target of 40 percent will adversely affect the European network of industries. Burden sharing in climate protection will remain unequal also post-2020. At the same time, competitors outside the European Union are glad about the EU assuming a pioneering role in climate protection without other regions of the world having to join in.

VCI: EU summit leaves leaves climate protection lopsided: Growth and competitiveness weakened. © The Council of the European Union
VCI: EU summit leaves leaves climate protection lopsided: Growth and competitiveness weakened. © The Council of the European Union

The German chemical industry association Verband der Chemischen Industrie (VCI) calls the climate target of 40 percent – as decided by the EU heads of state or government – highly ambitious. The VCI’s director-general Utz Tillmann thinks that this target will particularly impact emission trading; this sector will continue to shoulder the major burdens. Tillmann said: “In the 10 years between 2020 and 2030, Europe will have to once more reduce its emissions as much as in the previous 30 years. We fear that the tighter climate target will adversely affect the European network of industries and, consequently, weaken growth and competitiveness. This will intensify the negative development among investors.” Tillmann deplored that the heads of state or government only half-heartedly considered the factor of competitiveness, as compared with climate protection.

According to Tillmann, burden sharing in climate protection will remain unequal also post-2020. The strong early action and achievements – especially by the German chemical industry where greenhouse gas emissions have been reduced by half since 1990 through efficiency measures and the modernisation of chemical plants in East Germany – are not recognised, quite the contrary. Tillmann warned: “The political decision-makers want us to bring about a further reduction by 22 percent between 2020 and 2030 through emission trading. We can do so only if we do not expand production. In the worst case, we will even have to cut down our production activities.”

Tillmann believes that competitors outside the European Union are glad about the EU assuming a pioneering role in climate protection without other regions of the world having to join in: “Figuratively speaking, the EU is sending our international competitors a competitive advantage for free, right to their doorsteps. Now it is important for the EU to make up for our competitive disadvantage by way of adequate compensation measures.” From Tillmann’s viewpoint, it is a bright spot that the European Council reserves the right to make important climate policy decisions in the future. Tillmann: “With this stance, the Council recognises that the climate policy should give equal importance to environmental and growth aspects.”

The VCI represents the politico-economic interests of over 1,650 German chemical companies and German subsidiaries of foreign businesses. For this purpose, the VCI is in contact with politicians, public authorities, other industries, science and media. The VCI stands for over 90 percent of the chemical industry in Germany. In 2013 the German chemical industry realised sales of more than 190 billion euros and employed around 438,000 staff.

Contact: VCI Press Dept., Phone: +49 69 2556-1496, E-Mail: presse@vci.de
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Contacts

Sebastian Kreth

E-Mail: kreth@vci.de