EU should avoid gas-emissions targets of more than 20% - Cefic

10 March 2011 11:47  [Source: ICIS news]

EU should not push too far on emissions - CeficLONDON (ICIS)--Cefic is urging the European Commission not to adopt new unilateral greenhouse gas (GHG) targets that go beyond the originally stated 20% reductions, the industry association said on Thursday.

Cefic said that efforts by the EU to reduce GHG emissions by more than 20% – thereby setting a new target in the absence of a global climate change agreement will adversely affect EU industry competitiveness.

On 8 March, the Commission adopted the “Roadmap for moving to a low-carbon economy in 2050”, a plan for the EU to cut greenhouse gases 25% below 1990 levels by 2020, surpassing its own 20% target.

“We are concerned that EU policymakers are going to unilaterally move the goalposts from 20% to 25% or 30%. At this point, it’s counterproductive because it creates uncertainties in an already unstable, post-crisis business environment,” said William Garcia, Cefic executive director in charge of climate change and energy.

“Setting aside allowances in the EU Emissions Trading Scheme, for example, would tighten the CO2 market and hamper the competitiveness of the European chemical industry,” he added.

“The European Parliament and Council must stick to their original targets and hold true to the current 20% GHG reduction target by the 2020 deadline,” Garcia said.

In addition, Cefic wants policy leaders to address the pending EU Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) implementation rules and guidelines, which are the main tools to reach the 20% emission reduction target, as they prevent domestic European manufacturers from pursuing future investment and planning, it said.

Cefic added that the chemicals sector is instrumental in delivering longer term GHG emissions reductions and that large-scale investments are needed to meet pressing emissions challenges.

“Cefic understands well-intentioned policy being developed towards 2050, but it’s clear that a technology jump is required to reach the challenging long-term GHG emissions reduction goals and to get to a sustainable, energy-efficient economy in Europe,” Garcia said.

The overall goal of the Commission’s plan is to cut emissions 80-95% by 2050. The plan, which was released in Strasbourg, France, sets milestones of 40% by 2030 and 60% by 2040.

Roadmap 2050 is to be presented to the European Parliament and member states for developing appropriate legislation.

In related news, German chemicals major BASF announced in a report that it had reduced specific GHG emissions by 29% compared with 2002, and that the company had reached its goal for 2020 for the first time. BASF added that it is currently working on new goals for the reduction of GHG emissions.

Bookmark Doris de Guzman’s Green Chemicals blog for views on sustainability issues

By: Franco Capaldo
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