GHG emission reductions enabled by products from the chemical industry

Published: 30/10/2017

The Paris Agreement confirmed the need for keeping global warming to “well below 2 degrees Celsius” by the end of the century. In the Synthesis Report by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), it is stated that current greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reductions pledges made by 189 developed and developing countries would necessitate greater and more costly emission reductions after 2030 to achieve this goal, as compared to the least cost scenario. Therefore, a higher level of GHG emissions reduction in all countries and all sectors is deemed necessary in the first half of the century.

The chemical industry contributes to many solutions that increase the energy efficiency in multiple sectors and contribute to an increase of renewable energy supply, thereby reducing and avoiding emissions in many value chains. This study focuses on six important solutions to which the chemical industry contributes: wind and solar power, efficient building envelopes, efficient lighting, electric cars, fuel efficient tires and lightweight materials. Another important application, food packaging, is also discussed using a different methodology, due to concerns about data quality.

The chemical industry has the potential to contribute even more than the selected six solutions and to further accelerate its contribution also beyond the 2030 timeframe. For each solution to reach its full potential, joint action from all partners in the value chain is a critical success factor.

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Annemarie Kerkhof
Sustainable Industries and Services
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Wouter Terlouw
Sustainable Industries and Services
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Edgar van de Brug
Sustainable Industries and Services
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