Energy Intensive Industries (EIIs) want to contribute in a constructive manner to the development of policies enabling the transition to a climate-neutral economy by 2050. We therefore call for a dialogue with the incoming European Commission, Member States and Parliament on the integration in the European Green Deal and the forthcoming industrial strategy of the recommendations of the Master Plan for a competitive transformation of EU EIIs.
Report from the High-Level Group on Energy-Intensive Industries:
In December 2015, parties to the Paris Agreement committed jointly to keeping the global temperature increase to well below 2°C and to pursue efforts to limit temperature increase to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels. In November 2018, following the invitations by the European Parliament and the European Council, the European Commission presented its Strategic Vision “AClean Planet for all”. This has contributed to an EU-wide informed debate with other institutions and stakeholde in view of adopting and submitting to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) a long-term strategy by 2020, as requested under the Paris Agreement.
PRESS RELEASE: European paper industry CEOs declare a strategic interest in supporting the decarbonisation of our society
Climate change is a global crisis that demands urgent action and requires every actor in society to play his/her part in responding to the crisis. Industries have both a duty and an opportunity to become more sustainable, more efficient and more innovative.
“With the help of the new European Green Deal, we can reduce our impact on climate change while increasing production in Europe. Our industry has a strategic interest in being at the forefront of the decarbonisation efforts for 2050” said Ignazio Capuano, incoming Cepi Chairman and CEO of Burgo group taking over from Karl-Henrik Sundström, CEO of Stora Enso, during Cepi’s annual conference, Paper and Beyond, today in Brussels.
In this spirit, the CEOs representing the European paper industry outlined their plans to reach a climate-neutral Europe by 2050 in a declaration which was officially handed over to Clara De La Torre, Deputy Director-General of DG CLIMA and Timo Pesonen, Director-General of DG GROW, present along with other European Commission representatives.
The way forward finds its foundations in the very solid basis of our existing achievements. We have guaranteed the sustainability of our raw materials, improved the performance of our processes and proven the climate friendliness of our products.
Sustainable raw materials: our raw material is wood pulp, which is intrinsically renewable if coming from properly managed forest sources; this is why we have helped create a number of programmes for the certified sustainability of forests across Europe such as PEFC (Programme for Endorsement of Forest Certification and FSC (Forest Stewardship Council). We have expanded sustainable forest management practices in Europe and globally.
Decarbonised processes: we have delivered a successful decarbonisation of our operations of 27% from 2005 to date. Our sector is investing at a rate of more than €5 billion per year to decarbonise, with a commitment to making our production processes more efficient and decreasing our overall carbon footprint thanks to new technologies and collaboration with our partners. A step change is ultimately needed and supported by breakthrough technologies and solutions. We are committed to searching for them.
Climate-friendly products: world champions in recycling, we have worked with local authorities to improve separate collection of paper and board to boost the use of recycled fibres in new products. We now plan to push our model even further in a final goal of providing innovative sustainable solutions for a range of new sectors, for example textile, through new bio-based products.
To turn this ambition into reality, we call upon European policymakers to support our efforts by setting an appropriate legislative framework, namely:
- Improved market access for recyclable and bio-based products, through a coherent product policy and clear framework conditions for the new bioeconomy-related products
- More support for the sustainable management of forests and recycling schemes: forest-based raw materials should be made more easily available and accessible.
- A coherent, stable and predictable regulatory framework, with clear milestones for a cost-competitive energy transition, to promote and reward decarbonisation investments and guarantee access to clean energy.
Our final goal is to empower consumers, who will get a larger choice of climate-friendly products that are easily available and affordable.
Previously known as "To our roots and beyond", the second edition of our project REINVEST 2050 was launched with an event (see the video here) in the European Parliament on 12 February in Strasbourg. The exhibition was hosted by Members of the European Parliament Elsi Katainen (ALDE, Finland) and Ludek Niedermayer (EPP, Czech Republic).
It showcased 21 success stories about investments in innovation and ground-breaking technology best practices across the forest fibre industry carried out by 16 different companies based in 12 EU Member States.
The exhibition enabled over 12 MEPs and 20 industry representatives to measure how the pulp and paper industry is making, in practice, the energy and bioeconomy transition happen across Europe today.
MEP Elsi Katainen emphasized that "both politicians and industry are committed to reduce their CO2 emissions to meet the Paris Agreement objectives".
She mentioned related legislations such as LULUCF, the revised Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Directives, which were discussed and decided during the current European Parliament mandate.
In their speeches, MEPs Paul Brannen and Dario Tamburrano focused on the circular bioeconomy:
"I think there's an opportunity with what you would call the wider bioeconomy to really make some deep inroads into tackling climate change through a shift from making stuff from fossil fuels, into making stuff from wood as a feedstock. Paper is at the heart of that"
“Paper is one of the materials which is a great ally in order to build a circular economy”
Finally, MEP Anne Sander shed an industrial policy look on the event:
"Europe is in a leading position but we have to work in a clever way in order to set emission reduction goals that are reachable. It would be dramatic to set emission reduction standards and goals that would be so hard to achieve that they become an incentive for industry to move outside Europe"
The overall concept of REINVEST2050 is to stimulate competition between companies on low carbon solutions in order to create a domino effect and encourage the deployment of innovative solutions.
Is there an innitiative contributing to low-carbon emission societies in your country? Stay tuned and submit your project for the next edition of REINVEST2050.
Please visit our dedicated website for more information about the project and the event here.
All pictures from the event are featured here.