Manifesto: Seven recommendations for the European Commission
Fossil feedstock is the main cause of climate change. In the realm of chemistry and materials, defossilisation is imperative to meet both the climate targets and the continuous demand for embedded carbon – the carbon bound in the molecules. This can only be achieved by utilising renewable carbon sources from biomass, direct CO2 utilisation or recycling. The concept of renewable carbon establishes the foundation for a future chemistry and materials sector that can be circular and sustainable. Simultaneously, the concept helps to reduce the dependence on imported fossil feedstocks like crude oil and natural gas. To successfully execute this transformation towards renewable carbon use, political backing is essential. The RCI manifesto outlines seven core recommendations directed towards the next European Commission, which aim at translating this vision into reality.
Key messages of the manifesto:
- Ensure that carbon embedded in chemicals and materials is given more political attention as an important factor for material-related emissions. Renewable carbon derived from biomass, direct CO2 utilisation, and recycling must become a guiding principle for policies and targets regulating chemicals and materials.
- Make a stepwise phaseout of fossil carbon from below the ground for chemicals and materials by 2050 an explicit objective.
- Enshrine the 20% target of non-fossil carbon in chemicals and plastics by 2030 from the Sustainable Carbon Cycles Communication in binding legislation and ensure implementation through concrete political action.
- Establish a Carbon Management Regulation to incentivise companies to replace fossil carbon from below the ground with renewable alternatives.
- Promote bio- and CO2-based or ‑attributed content in parallel to recycled content in product-related regulation.
- Deploy carbon capture and utilisation (CCU) as a key strategic net-zero technology to supply sustainable and circular carbon.
- Support the transformation of existing chemical infrastructure from fossil to renewable carbon and support the transformation of biofuels plants into chemical suppliers without discriminating against existing production from renewable feedstock (including primary biomass).