Energy and Climate Change

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energy and climate change
04 Mar.2020

PRESS RELEASE: Combined positive impact of European forests and the EU forestbased sectors for climate neutrality: the CO2 mitigation effect corresponds to about 20% of the EU’s annual emissions

Cepi, the Confederation of European Paper Industries, welcomes the new European Climate Law launched today by the European Commission as a key step forward in our common efforts to respond to global warming.

Our industry is committed to doing its part: we have already achieved a 27% reduction of carbon emission from 2005 to date, a leading performance amongst the ETS sectors. With a supportive and stable regulatory framework, we plan to continue and improve progress, as stated in Cepi CEO initiative. We aim to be the most competitive and sustainable provider of solutions for a climate-neutral Europe in 2050” said Jori Ringman, Director General at Cepi, the Confederation of European Paper Industries.

The transition towards a carbon-neutral economy will have to build on strong European industrial value-chains. The European paper industry has already identified a joint vision for the Forest-based industrial value-chain, published in November, and is working to make the vision a reality.

According to our soon to be published study, the combined positive climate impact of European forest (forest sink) and forest-based sector’s net substitution effect (forest industry and forest products) reaches a total of more than -806  million tonnes of CO2e every year, which corresponds to about 20% of the EU’s annual emissions.

One of the main contributions of forest-based industries is to valorise and ensure healthy forests by fostering their ability to absorb CO2 from the atmosphere and enhance carbon storage. Likewise, almost as big as the forest sink in Europe, the contribution of the sectors’ low-carbon products is significant.

“Our study shows that informed consumer choices, moving from high-carbon products to low-carbon products, have an immediate and important impact on Europe’s goal to become carbon neutral”, Ringman says.

Cepi calls for an improved market access for recyclable and bio-based products, through a coherent product policy framework that allows for sustainable consumer choices.

This should go hand-in-hand with a policy framework that enables availability and access to responsibly sourced bio-based raw materials, through more support to sustainable forest management and high quality recycling in the paper industry.

Furthermore, reaching completely fossil-free value chains would require a plan for innovative solutions, with clear milestones for a timely and cost-efficient decarbonisation of the European energy system. “Advancing promptly in affordable supply of clean energy, in particular for gas, is an obvious prerequisite for achieving the new ambitious target set for 2030. We need the EU to plan energy transition with milestones matching today’s targets”, says Ringman.

These elements should be an integral part of European and national measures aimed at making the European Climate Law a reality.

 

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11 Dec.2019

PRESS RELEASE: The European paper industry is ready to rise to the climate challenge

The European paper industry welcomes the EU Green Deal Communication and the set of proposed actions planned for March 2020, in particular the European Climate Law, the New Industrial Strategy, the Circular Economy Action Plan 2.0 coupled with the Sustainable Products initiative and a new Forest strategy.

”The carbon neutrality objective requires the European pulp and paper industry to become even more sustainable, efficient and innovative. It demands that we continue on our transformational journey while maintaining our competitiveness. Our industry is up to the challenge”, said Jori Ringman, Director General at Cepi, the Confederation of European Paper Industries.

The European paper industry has already delivered a successful decoupling of carbon emissions from economic growth while reducing carbon emissions by 27% from 2005 to date, having product volumes increased and proved the climate friendliness of its products thanks to certified raw materials and a world class performance in recycling. We have delivered climate benefits for society.

“In this spirit of transformation and circularity, we have expressed our ambition to go even further for climate in our recent CEO initiative. It sets the path for the pulp and paper industry to become the most competitive and sustainable provider of solutions for a climate-neutral Europe in 2050, having a positive impact beyond our own emission reduction,” said Ignazio Capuano, incoming Cepi Chairman and CEO of Burgo group SPA.

The same consideration has led us to increase collaboration with other Forest-based industries: we have in common our starting raw material which is naturally renewable, and the objective of substituting fossil-fuel based materials while eradicating waste thanks to circularity and recycling.

The EU Green Deal will have to make space for climate-neutral, circular economy products such as wood-based products in our daily lives, if it wants to deliver on the carbon neutrality goal by 2050. In that it would be genuinely a deal that we would like to make with the society in Europe.”

This broader joint strategic vision with other Forest-based industries complements our climate strategy and is reinforced by the master plan designed with other critical European industries with a shared need for clean energy at a cost competitive price. EU Energy Intensive Industries are deeply rooted in our society and provide skilled jobs, technologies, solutions and materials to every possible economic sector.

The EU Green Deal will have to support rapid demonstrations of breakthrough technologies on an industrial scale through major R&D&I programmes and facilitate access to private finance.

Reaching climate neutrality will require acting systematically across value chains and sectors hence why we founded a cross-industry alliance, 4evergreen, to boost the contribution of fibre-based packaging in a circular and sustainable economy that minimises climate and environmental impact.

The alliance will increase awareness about the benefits of fibre-based packaging materials, advocate for EU legislation supporting product design for recyclability and call for the development of optimised collection systems and appropriate recycling infrastructures.

4evergreen was created as a forum to engage and connect industry members from across the fibre-based packaging value chain, from paper and board producers to packaging converters, brand-owners and retailers, technology and material suppliers, waste sorters and collectors.

Cepi has produced guidance to achieve even higher recycling targets while expanding the functionality of paper-based packaging. The Recyclability Guidelines give concrete guidance for designers to ensure functionality goes hand in hand with recyclability.

This collaboration is one more part of our comprehensive consumer-centred approach guided by the principle of climate mitigation, so that we can do our part in Europe’s transition to climate neutrality by 2050.

However, we cannot do this alone: governments have a vital role to play and we would ask the European governance to demonstrate leadership once again by helping us. We need the right policy environment in order to be the fertile ground for these seeds to blossom in.

European policymakers can support our efforts by:

a) Improving market access for recyclable and bio-based products, through a coherent product policy framework, to allow for informed consumer choices

b) Increasing availability and access to bio-based raw materials, through more support to sustainable forest management and high quality recycling

c) Promoting and rewarding decarbonisation investments by guaranteeing a coherent, stable and predictable regulatory framework, including a European Clean Energy Master Plan, with clear milestones for a cost-efficient energy transition

 

 

For more information about Cepi and its position on the European Green Deal, please contact Claire Couet, Cepi Public Affairs & Communications Director, at c.couet@cepi.org.

 

 

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29 Nov.2019

PRESS RELEASE: Energy Intensive Industries

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.

The success of an EU Strategy for long-term EU greenhouse gas emission reductions and a European Green Deal will largely depend on the pace of industry’s transformation, as shown in the Master Plan. EU EIIs are deeply rooted in our society providing technologies, solutions and materials to every possible economic sector. At the same time, they belong to complex value chains and are heavily dependent on other sectors, notably the energy sector, to become climate-neutral. Transformation of industry will also impact consumption patterns in all sectors of the economy and can be a generator of new investments in the EU if the policy framework is right.
The task at hand is immense but a successful transformation is possible, if the EU takes action in three priority areas, while taking care of the regional and social dimension:
• Creating markets for climate-neutral, circular economy products;
• Supporting rapid demonstration of breakthrough technologies on an industrial scale through major R&D&I programmes and facilitating access to private finance;
• Securing industry’s access to alternative energy and feedstock sources at competitive prices.
The Master Plan sets out concrete policy recommendations in each of these areas. It benefited from the strong support of Commission services and is based on valuable contributions of Member States, the energy sector as well as, workers’ organizations, civil society, think tanks and academia. This makes it a unique and solid contribution to build upon an EU industrial strategy.
As 2050 is only one or two investment cycles away, the next few years will be crucial to lay the policy groundwork for the successful industrial transformation.
 
Note to the editor
Energy Intensive Industries (EIIs) represent more than 30,000 companies and provide direct employment to around 2.6 million people. We are at the heart of the value-creation in Europe and we offer numerous and indispensable solutions enabling the transition towards a low-carbon and energy efficient society.
In 2015 our sectors directly emitted 665 million tonnes of CO2, which represents a reduction by 36% in comparison with 1990. This accounted for 28% of the total EU economy-wide emissions reductions even though the EIIs represented 15% of the total greenhouse gas emissions (exl. LULUCF) in 2015 (18.4% in 1990).1
1 “Industrial Value Chain: A Bridge towards a Carbon Neutral Europe” (2018)
 
For press-related enquiries, please contact Claire Couet, CEPI Public Affairs & Communications Director at c.couet@cepi.org
 
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29 Nov.2019

Masterplan for a Competitive Transformation of EU Energy-intensive Industries

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.

The Political Guidelines for the next European Commission 2019–2024 of the new Commission Presidentelect confirm this political commitment, proposing a “European Green Deal” that should make Europe become the first climate-neutral continent and a European Climate Law to enshrine the 2050 climate-neutrality target into law. The guidelines recognise that this transition should
be just, leaving nobody behind. The Political Guidelines also contain several other important commitments that are relevant to energy intensive industries such as the declaration of a zero-pollution ambition and the announcement of a new European industrial strategy and a new Circular Economy Action Plan2. In March 2019, the European Council invited the Commission to present a long-term vision for the EU’s industrial future with concrete measures to implement it, addressing the chall r better implementation and enforcement of Single Market rules3.
The European Commission is currently preparing the response to this invitation. Several initiatives contribute to this work, including the Strategic Forum for Important Projects of Common European Interest4, the Industry 2030 high level industrial roundtable5, the Technical Expert Group on sustainable finance, the Commission assessment of the Integrated National Energy and Climate Plans, the strategic plan for Horizon Europe and the High Level Group on Energy-intensive Industries (HLG EIIs).
 
The full report can be found below.
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19 Nov.2019

CEO INITIATIVE: Our contribution to EU 2050 climate neutrality

It is clear that renewability and circularity are key solutions to decarbonise society. And that forests are the most effective carbon sinks known to man.
 
Through our sustainable forest management we contribute significantly to the growing forest coverage in Europe, thereby enabling forests to play their combined role of carbon sequestration as well as providing carbon neutral materials for carbon storage and substitution of fossil-based raw materials.
 
Our industry offers innovative and resource-efficient solutions for current and future challenges. As a vital part of a circular bio-economy, we provide consumers with a wide range of renewable and recyclable solutions for packaging, different papers, textiles, bio-composites, bio-chemicals and energy products.
 
In addition, we operate as a strategic element of the circular forest-based industry value chain, providing an ever-increasing range of solutions for our customers, for other industries, and for society at large.
Our industry has therefore a strategic interest in being at the forefront in making the decarbonisation of European society happen.
 
Unleashing the full potential of our sector brings Europe closer to achieve a climate neutral economy, leveraging on our strengths: competitiveness, renewability, and circularity.
 
 
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