We have expanded the list of climate policies we assess company engagement with to incorporate land-use related policy, referring to legislative or regulatory measures to enhance and protect ecosystems and land where carbon is being stored. Assessments under this category are currently underweighted in terms of their contribution to the overall company metrics. This weighting will be progressively increased over the next 6 months.
We adjusted the terminology used to describe the queries running down the left-hand side of our scoring matrix and added additional explanatory text to the info-boxes. This has no impact on the scores and methodology. It has been done following user feedback to improve clarity.
Climate Policy Engagement Overview: The European Chemical Industry Council (Cefic) appears to support climate change policy with several exceptions, and is strategically engaged with policymakers across a range of EU policy streams. The group’s engagement with several strands of climate change policy appears to have become more positive since 2015, but it continues to engage negatively on certain areas of legislation, such as increasing the ambition of the EU Emissions Trading System.
Top-line Messaging on Climate Policy: Cefic communicated strong support for long-term climate ambition in 2021-23, yet in regard to climate regulation at times it stressed the need for caution to safeguard European industrial competitiveness in the near term. For example, in a September 2022 position paper, the association stated support for the EU’s ambition to become climate neutral by 2050. However, in a manifesto published in July 2023, the association advocated for a market-based response to climate change over government regulation, suggesting “overly-detailed” legislation is holding back sector decarbonization. In an interview with CEO Martin Brudermüller the news outlet Politico reported that he communicated support for policy with “realistic” timelines in January 2022.
Engagement with Climate-Related Regulations: Cefic seems to have predominantly negative engagement with key EU climate policies. In a public hearing in the EU Parliament Committee on Industry, Research and Energy in May 2023, Cefic Director General Marco Mensink did not support key elements of the EU Emissions Trading System (ETS) reform, including increasing the Linear Reduction Factor and reducing the cap on total GHG emissions to zero by 2039. In a January 2022 position paper the association supported the EU’s Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM) with major exceptions, such as advocating for the inclusion of export rebates and the continuation of the free allocation of emissions allowances in the EU ETS, positions which are misaligned with the EU Commission. However, it did support the inclusion of indirect emissions in the CBAM.
In response to an EU public consultation in October 2021, Cefic supported energy efficiency legislation for buildings but was unsupportive of several elements of the reform of the Energy Efficiency Directive (EED), including the proposal to exclude energy savings from fossil fuels from contributing towards the Energy Savings Obligation. In a September 2022 position paper, the association opposed several elements of the Industrial Emissions Directive (IED), rejecting the introduction of GHG emissions standards by suggesting the IED overlaps with the EU ETS.
In July 2022, Cefic signed a joint letter supporting a weakening of the EU Renewable Energy Directive's Delegated Act on Renewable Fuels of Non-Biological Origin (RFNBOs). Additionally, in October 2021 in response to an EU public consultation, the association supported permitting recycled carbon fuels to reach targets in the Renewable Energy Directive (RED), essentially opening up RED from solely legislating renewable energy. In the same consultation response, Cefic did not support binding sub-targets for renewable hydrogen as it would hamper production of low-carbon hydrogen produced with fossil gas and carbon capture and storage. Cefic also signed an open letter in November 2022 advocating for the inclusion of ‘low carbon’ hydrogen in the RED III. In a May 2023 position paper, Cefic supported measures to boost renewables in the EU Electricity Market Design (EMD) reform with major exceptions, stating that contracts for difference should only be utilized where market instruments fall short.
Positioning on Energy Transition: Cefic seems to broadly support the decarbonization of industry and supports specific regulation, but with some major exceptions. In February 2022, the news outlet ReCharge reported that the Director General Marco Mensink supported increasing renewable energy to decarbonize the chemical industry through direct electrification and hydrogen. However, in a May 2022 position paper, the association supported the RePowerEU proposal with major exceptions, advocating for the proposal to support fossil gas pipeline expansion and new LNG infrastructure. In November 2021 in an EU public consultation response, the association supported some elements of the Energy Taxation Directive reform to align energy taxation with the energy transition, but advocated for the maintenance of tax exemptions for energy used in industrial processes. It also supported favorable treatment for hydrogen in the response, but on a technology neutral basis, thereby supporting equal treatment of hydrogen produced with renewables and with fossil gas and carbon capture and storage.
In a public hearing in front of the EU Parliament Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE) in May 2023, Cefic Director General Marco Mensink did not seem to fully support the EU Green Deal Industrial Plan, advocating for expanding the scope of the policy to include materials and chemicals. Cefic also called for a ‘technology neutral’ approach to net-zero technologies in the EU’s Net Zero Industry Act (NZIA) in a May 2023 position paper, a position misaligned with the EU Commission.