Renewable Carbon Initiative calls on European Commission to boost renewable chemicals mandate

November 29, 2022 |

In Germany, the Renewable Carbon Initiative (RCI) says the European Commission’s Communication on Sustainable Carbon Cycles, as published in December 2021 included an “Industrial Sustainable Carbon challenge” which entails, among other targets, having 20% of all carbon in chemicals and plastic products from sustainable non-fossil sources by 2030.

The Communication outlines important strategic steps into that direction by stating that we must establish sustainable and climate-resilient carbon cycles, among others through “recycling carbon from ‘waste’ streams – recycling and carbon capture from flue gases, industrial off-gases and fermentation, from sustainable sources of biomass or directly from the atmosphere, to use it in place of fossil carbon in the sectors of the economy that will inevitably remain carbon dependent.” This is exactly the objective of the Renewable Carbon Initiative and all of its members – more than 40 – are working towards this goal. 

While this specifically quantified goal of 20% sounds like a valuable step in the right direction, the RCI wants to point out several aspects that require clarification and follow-up. As of now, it is unclear what the baseline is (at how many per cent are we starting the development?), how the baseline should be calculated, which sectors of the chemical and material industries are included and which carbon sources are considered “sustainable non-fossil” sources. The RCI is calling for a clarification of the term and an investigation of methodology, preferably in the form of an officially mandated study by the Commission. Depending on the current baseline and the methodology used to calculate the status quo, the RCI also demands to re-evaluate the 20% goal transparently and then embed it in legally binding policies. It argues for an ambitious goal to be achieved in the next few years – at least 20% of renewable carbon sources in chemistry and plastics by 2030, but potentially going beyond to e.g. 30% by 2035.

A transformation of the chemical and material sectors towards renewable carbon use requires significant effort and clear political support. This is why the measures proposed in the Communication and even further-going measures have to be implemented in legally binding pieces of legislation and existing as well as upcoming EU policy must be in line with these goals. They therefore call EU policymakers to enshrine a concrete objective of increased shares of renewable carbon in chemicals and plastics into EU law. 

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Tags: ,

Category: Policy

Thank you for visting the Digest.