Legislation biggest threat to Europe chems

06 October 2007 18:54  [Source: ICIS news]

BUDAPEST (ICIS news)--The biggest challenge facing the European chemical industry is environmental legislation, Cefic president Francois Cornelis said on Saturday.

“We think that we can compete, we believe our businesses are growing but we are under constant threat of damaging legislation,” Cornelis said at a Cefic press conference held in Budapest after the organisation's annual meeting.

He said the industry’s reputation was suffering because of the public's negative perception of how it affected the environment.

Legislation may be passed because of this, Cornelis said.

“For every tonne of CO2 that it produces, two or three or four tonnes are saved by the rest of the world,” he said as he explained how products produced by the industry save CO2 further down the line.

This sentiment was echoed by the SCI's CIEAM (Chemical Industry European Annual Meeting) organising committee chairman Sven Royall on the sidelines of the conference, who used the example of plastic parts for the automotive industry.

CO2 is produced when plastic is made but a lighter car means less pollution when it is driven, he explained.

A trend study presented to the conference by management engineers said to counter fears in the community there was a need to educate journalists, analysts and the public about the chemical industry and what it can do for the environment.

Cefic has just begun a study of the impact of EU legislation Reach on the chemical industry "in real money terms”, Cefic Director General Alain Perroy said.

“We are going to ask 100 companies [each year] how their business has been impacted by the Reach legislation,” Perroy said.

"There will be a review of Reach one day and we will be able to bring the facts to the table.

“We had a study that [said] in the worse case scenario some companies may have to abandon 20% of their products,” he said.

By: Lucy Craymer
+44 20 8652 3214

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