German chemical industry can become carbon neutral by 2050: study

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BERLIN, Oct. 9 (Xinhua) -- The carbon neutrality of Germany's chemical industry by 2050 would be technically feasible thanks to new manufacturing technologies, according to a study published by the German Chemical Industry Association (VCI) on Wednesday.

To become carbon-neutral,Germany's chemical industry would require "favorable framework conditions," such as low electricity prices for the chemical industry as well as large amounts of emission-free electricity from renewable sources, the industry association said.

The German chemical industry is "committed to the societal task of greenhouse gas neutrality," said VCI Director General Wolfgang Grosse Entrup, emphasizing that it wants to "successfully follow this path."

"The necessary CO2-free processes to produce basic chemicals are known in principle, but have to be developed further for large-scale application," the VCI said. Klaus Schaefer of the VCI estimated that this development could be finished by 2030.

According to the study, it would be possible to reduce the industry's greenhouse gas emissions by 27 percent by 2050 compared to 2020 by only using already existing technologies in a more efficient way following "ongoing investments."

"Companies can drive the transformation to zero emissions only if they remain competitive at every stage," emphasized Schaefer.

In a more ambitious scenario, which would require a "large amount of electricity from renewable sources," greenhouse gas emissions could be decreased by 61 percent, but Germany's chemical companies would need to make additional investments in basis chemistry in order to develop necessary production processes.

To reach full carbon neutrality by 2050, German companies would have to invest an additional 45 billion euros (49.4 billion U.S. dollars) by 2050 in new environmentally friendly industrial processes.

"As a German industry, we want to be the spearhead of the technological transformation of the global chemical industry," Grosse Entrup said, adding that the industry association would aim to establish a platform for sharing knowledge in various segments. Enditem

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