Monday, 30 November 2015
Essenscia, the federation of Belgian chemical industries, is asking for a stringent global agreement at the 21st United Nations Climate Conference (COP 21), scheduled for next Monday in Paris. Els Brouwers, Head of Energy & Climate, will plead in favour of three priorities: a global and “feasible” agreement, one that is legally-binding, and that will “offer satisfactory guarantees that the chemical industry both at European and at Belgian level will be able to remain innovative.”
“The Paris Climate Conference must reach a global and legally-binding agreement imposing the same rules on every industrialised country, as only balanced climate policies will allow the chemical sector to develop durable and essential innovation in the climate war. Essenscia will plead for this vision at COP21,” it revealed.
According to Essenscia, Belgian and European businesses currently face international competition from countries with less stringent environmental legislation, more favourable energy costs, and “where businesses do not have to buy CO2 emissions rights nor heavily contribute to financing renewable energies.” It reckons that in a global economy the current situation may cost numerous European jobs, and that investments made elsewhere will not reduce emissions “but move them to other countries where energy production is more harmful to the environment.”
“Balanced energy policies supporting innovation should help Belgian and European chemical businesses become leaders in dealing with climate change and in transitioning to a carbon-light and circular economy,” points out Essenscia, adding that “the current European climate policy is one of the most ambitious in the world.”