07 July 2009 16:00 [Source: ICIS news]
BRUSSELS (ICIS news)--Global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions would have been 11% higher in 2005 in a world without the chemical industry, according to a report published by the International Council of Chemical Associations (ICCA) on Tuesday.
After carrying out carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) life-cycle analyses for over 100 chemical products, the report concluded that, compared with total global emissions of 46 gigatonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (GtCO2e) in 2005, there would have been up to 11% more emissions without products made by the chemical industry.
The analyses compared the CO2e emissions of a chemical industry product in a specific application with the best non-chemical alternative through the extraction, production, in-use and disposal phases.
The most significant emissions savings by volume were found to be from three sectors: insulation materials for the construction industry, the use of chemical fertilizers and crop protection products in agriculture, and advanced lighting solutions.
According to the report, insulation that reduced the heat lost from buildings – and therefore the use of heating fuel – accounted for 40% of the total identified CO2e savings.
The seven next most important emission savers were plastic packaging, marine anti-fouling coatings, synthetic textiles, automotive plastics, low-temperature detergents, engine efficiency and plastics used in piping.
But, according to the report, if these savings are to continue, effective policies and regulations are needed.
The report set out a series of proposals to policymakers meeting at the G8 summit in ?xml:namespace>
The proposals called for the creation of a global carbon framework to accelerate GHG reductions, avoid market distortions and minimise carbon leakage.
The chemical industry would also like climate change policies to focus first on the “largest, most effective, and lowest cost abatement opportunities” and on energy efficiency.
The report concluded that there should be more support for the development of new technologies as well as the efficient and sustainable use of feedstocks and energy for the production of chemicals technologies.
Hans-Ulrich Engel, a member of BASF’s board of executive directors, said the study should “significantly improve the acceptance of the chemical industry”, adding that it had already received “very positive” reactions from the European Commission and the International Energy Agency (IEA).
“If we don’t have all the facts and figures we can’t start [examining CO2 emissions and] climate change,” said Mills.
Mills said the report was particularly important in proving that “more CO2 is emitted in the usage [than the production] phase and that if we don’t tackle this we won’t achieve the dramatic cuts in emissions the world is looking for”.
Kinder praised the idea of “quantifying opportunities” to cut CO2 emissions and said the “life-cycle approach shows all sides of the argument”.
After launching the report in the
For the latest chemical news, data and analysis that directly impacts your business sign up for a free trial to ICIS news - the breaking online news service for the global chemical industry.
Get the facts and analysis behind the headlines from our market leading weekly magazine: sign up to a free trial to ICIS Chemical Business.
|ICIS news FREE TRIAL|
|Get access to breaking chemical news as it happens.|
|ICIS Global Petrochemical Index (IPEX)|
|ICIS Global Petrochemical Index (IPEX). Download the free tabular data and a chart of the historical index|
Asian Chemical Connections