EPCA ’12: Chem industry holds key to preserve earth – Crotty

08 October 2012 10:07  [Source: ICIS news]

BUDAPEST (ICIS)--The chemical industry can play a vital role in helping preserve the earth’s resources, a top European industry official said on Monday, citing the impact an expanding population can have on the planet.

“I firmly believe that our industry holds the key to resolving those twin challenges that face the world,” said Tom Crotty, president of the European Petrochemical Association (EPCA), referring to the need to meet the demands of a growing population, while at the same time reducing the impact of human life on the ecology of the earth.

Population growth is inexorable, he said, adding that the world’s population is growing by one billion people every 12 or 13 years because of increased life expectancy and rising birth rates.

At that pace, the world’s population will grow to 9bn people by 2050 from 7bn people now, he said, warning of the potential impact to the earth’s resources.

“We are living beyond our means … we are consuming the earth’s resources at a rate that is in geological time a blink of an eye,” he told delegates.

The likelihood of that continuing is very high as the world’s population continues to increase, he said.

Crotty, who is also INEOS Olefins & Polymers chief executive, spoke at the opening of the 46th annual EPCA meeting in Budapest.

He touted his own company’s push for new technology, saying INEOS was in the process of commissioning the world’s first bio-refinery, which will allow the company to make bio-ethanol fuel from any form of carbon waste.

“Technologies similar to that are being developed by the chemical industry around the world,” he told delegates.

“Our chemistry is allowing the world to lighten their cars and planes and drive up their fuel efficiency and reduce their environmental burden,” Crotty said.

He also cited a commitment by the industry to achieve zero plastics in landfills by 2020.

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By: William Lemos
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