VCI position in a nutshell
The European ”Green Deal“
The “Green Deal” – the growth strategy of the EU Com-mission – describes how Europe is to become the first climate-neutral continent by 2050. Alongside far-reaching climate and energy policy goals, additional ambitious measures are planned, mainly in industrial and chemicals policy, circular economy and promoting biodiversity.
Support from the chemical industry
The ecological transformation of the economy and society is inevitable. The chemical industry supports the goal of greenhouse gas neutrality by 2050. Climate protection and circular economy are at the top of the industry’s agenda. Whether hydrogen economy, chemical recycling, electromobility or digital healthcare: The industry bets on innovative processes and techno-logies. At the same time, it paves the way for more sustainability with many innovative products.
The "Green Deal" has many starting points at once. It is important to give attention to consistency and feasibility while prioritising and regularly reviewing the self-set goals. Only in this way can the measures be adjusted in a meaningful manner.
As the aspired transformation can only succeed with a strong, innovative and competitive chemical industry, the "Green Deal" should also be understood and implemented as an instrument to enhance innovative strength and competitiveness. In this context, primarily the market-based impulses should enable technological progress. Too much public steering might lead to small-scale and contradictory regulations; these can stifle the necessary creative process of renewal. Instead, clear-cut and well-coordinated provisions, an open mind to different technologies and less bureaucracy are needed to mobilise the necessary investments.
The EU should support the transformation with good location conditions (e.g. clean, secure and affordable energy supplies), an innovation-friendly climate and the development of infrastructures that are “fit for the future”.
Use the Green Deal as a driver out of the crisis
The economic impacts of the corona pandemic will stay with us for many years. Against this backdrop, new burdens from the "Green Deal" should be avoided as far as possible and the industrial policy should support the economy more strongly than originally planned. After all, only a strong industry can be a supporter and pioneer for the ambitious goals.
Therefore, the current focus on "green" should be expanded into a "Sustainable Deal" which integrates the promotion of innovation and digitalisation and provides additional funding for research and climate protection. A growth programme and a genuine "Sustainable Deal" for Europe will only come about if the "Green Deal" combines economic success with social justice and ecological responsibility in a sensible form.
THE VCI IS CALLING FOR THE FOLLOWING
- Good framework conditions for the transformation of the chemical industry
The VCI study "Roadmap Chemistry 2050" of autumn 2019 shows: The transformation to a climate-neutral chemical industry by 2050 is technically feasible. However, this goal can only be reached if sufficient renewable energy is available at competitive prices and innovative technologies are promoted in the development and market launch phase. All this is only achievable with appropriate political support.
- Integrate all measures in the international setting
The chemical industry is part of international value chains and strong in exports. In order to avoid European isolated solutions and trade conflicts, international approaches must be given absolute priority - this applies not only for climate protection but also, for example, for the chemicals policy.
- Avoid unnecessary burdens
The Green Deal goals are best achieved with a small number of well-coordinated regulations that are open to different technologies, internationally integrated and non-bureaucratic. The effective implementation of the "one-in-one-out" principle (compensation of new burdens by equivalent burden-easing in the same policy area) can reduce unnecessary bureaucracy. Planning and approval procedures should be rapid.
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