Technological watch

Monthly news from the Renewable Carbon Initiative (RCI), April 2024

Let’s take a look at what happened in April 2024 at RCI:

Joint Statement by EU Member States the Netherlands, France, Ireland and the Czech Republic on a European Sustainable Carbon Regulation Package. Left to right: Irish Minister of State for Circular Economy Ossian Smyth, EC Climate Commissar Peter Hoekstra, Dutch Minister for Environment Vivianne Heijnen 1) Joint Statement by EU Member States the Netherlands, France, Ireland and the Czech Republic on a European Sustainable Carbon Policy PackageOn 16 April 2024, a major milestone was reached in the transition to sustainable carbon in the European chemical industry. The Dutch government together with representatives from the Member States France, the Czech Republic and Ireland presented a joint statement “A Call for a European Sustainable Carbon Policy Package” to the European Commission, represented by European Commissioner for Climate Action Wopke Hoekstra, who warmly welcomed the initiative. It was the first time ever that European politicians presented a paper on the defossilisation of the chemical industry and asked the Commission for strong action and a long-term vision. 

Katja Wodjereck (left), Executive Vice President Renewable Products at Neste and Michael Carus (right), Executive Manager of the Renewable Carbon Initiative at the Joint StatementIndustry associations have been calling for years to overcome the lack of a level playing field between the energy and fuel sectors, where the transition away from fossil fuels is strongly supported by various instruments such as quotas, and the chemicals and materials sector, where there are no comparable incentives at all. The concept of defossilisation was first introduced by the Renewable Carbon Initiative in 2020 to replace the fossil carbon embedded in chemicals and materials with biomass, COand recycled materials. It was no less than a long-awaited milestone for several initiatives and associations in the chemicals and materials sector when the Dutch minister for the environment, Vivianne Hejinen, delivered the following message: 

“In our statement we propose that an overarching European policy framework is needed in order to achieve the transition from fossil to sustainable carbon feedstocks in the chemical sector. Such a framework is essential if we’re to ensure the long-term competitiveness of the European chemical industry, while at the same time transforming it into a truly sustainable industry.” 

Key industry players, including Neste (in person of Katja Wodjereck) and Cefic (in person of Marco Mensink) support the initiative and emphasise the need for market creation and long-term vision.

You can find more info on the joint statement at and https://co2-chemistry.eu

Publication date: 03/05/2024

Author: Marion Kupfer

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Last update: 2022-01-31