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Kemianteollisuus Ursula von der Leyenin suuntaviivoista Euroopan komissiolle (eng)

Political Guidelines for the Next European Commission 2019−2024
−Competitive European Industry needed for solving the Climate Change

The Chemical Industry Federation of Finland (Kemianteollisuus), has set an ambitious goal for the sector’s carbon neutrality by 2045. From this point of view, we have studied the political guidelines of the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen. We welcome many of the ideas and raise some more issues. In order to reach the climate targets and the full potential of the European Green Deal as well as further ensure the European competitiveness we still need to invest some industry related issues in a more detailed way before proposing any concrete actions:


  1. Extended Emission Trading System (ETS): Expanding ETS may lead to a situation where incentives to reduce transport emissions may lead to the use of double policy instruments. Due to Finland’s location, any extra costs for logistics have a stronger impact and are not welcomed.
    Your contact: Rasmus Pinomaa, Senior Advisor, Carbon Neutral Chemistry 2045 and ETS, rasmus.pinomaa@kemianteollisuus.fi, +358 40 586 3705


  1. Carbon Border Tax: This policy instrument could even be dangerous for open export economies like the one in Finland. It will lead to a lack of competitiveness. Also, according to recent analysis it would be harmful to the Finnish economy.
    Your contact: Sami Nikander, Director, Responsibility, sami.nikander@kemianteollisuus.fi, +358 40 567 4413


  1. Decarbonizing energy-intensive industry: Talking about reducing emissions, decarbonizing as such is a misleading word. Carbon is an essential building block in our industry and in the society, decarbonizing the energy intensive industry is virtually impossible. We still need carbon, but the origin of the carbon will increasingly come from fossil-free sources. We fully support the idea of emission reductions, but question remains on how this will be done. We are open for a dialogue!
    Your contact: Sami Nikander, Director, Responsibility, sami.nikander@kemianteollisuus.fi, +358 40 567 4413 or Rasmus Pinomaa, Senior Advisor, Carbon Neutral Chemistry 2045, rasmus.pinomaa@kemianteollisuus.fi, +358 40 586 3705


  1. Sustainable financing at heart of our investment chain and financial system: Criteria for funding will be crucial. Current developments might lead into a situation where a transition to climate neutral economy is not possible, because many industrial processes might not get the necessary funding for climate neutral investments.
    Your contact: Johanna Pentjärvi, Senior Advisor, Sustainable product policy, Johanna.pentjarvi@kemianteollisuus.fi, +358 40 570 3920


  1. World leader in Circular Economy – New Circular Economy Action Plan focusing on sustainable resource use: We believe that closing the loop on a circular economy within the EU should be based on innovation rather than taxation, on infrastructure and value chain cooperation, on predictable legal framework that promotes circularity and on risk-based approach to safe material cycles.
    Your contact: Pia Vilenius, Chief Advisor, bioeconomy and circular economy, pia.vilenius@kemianteollisuus.fi, +358 40 413 6340


  1. Zero-pollution ambition: We welcome the cross-cutting approach to further improve environmental performance and safe products. Instead of a regulatory patchwork and adding the bureaucratic burden for companies we encourage holistic processes and more coherent EU-wide enforcement of existing legislation. Co-operation and smoother interfaces across different regulations are needed.
    Your contact: Eliisa Irpola, Chief Advisor, Product Safety, eliisa.irpola@kemianteollisuus.fi, +358 40 539 2556


  1. Europe to be leading on the issue of single-use plastics: Plastic waste is a valuable raw material and a well-functioning waste collection and recycling system are the key elements in protecting the environment. The release of microplastics to the environment shall be minimized, but the proposal for banning all under 5 mm polymeric products which are not exempted is not the right solution. It will cause huge negative impact for companies and can take many essential products from the market, with little measurable benefits for the environment. Industry should be more involved in prioritizing the measures to be taken through science-based assessments.
    Your contact: Pia Vilenius, Chief Advisor, bioeconomy and circular economy, pia.vilenius@kemianteollisuus.fi, +358 40 413 6340


  1. Investments in innovation and research: Sustainable Europe Investment Plan – Willingness to put record amount investments in cutting-edge research and innovation, using full flexibility of EU budget to focus on the areas with the greatest potential is welcomed. New technologies and innovation in the chemical industry play a key role in solving global challenges (climate change and healthcare). EU funding should be channeled to competitive industry-oriented innovation ecosystems with Public-Private-Partnerships (PPPs), which are guided by excellence and directed by innovation principle. EU funding also for piloting, risky R&D&I and project scaling. To make Europe a global innovation hub and an interesting investment area structure of the new Horizon Europe framework program plays an important role, ”Global Challenges &Industrial Competitiveness” pillar at the heart of the program is welcomed.
    Your contact: Carmel Kantor-Aaltonen, Chief Advisor, Innovations, kantor-aaltonen@kemianteollisuus.fi, +358 50 4045 166


  1. Skills and competence strategy to ensure future talent: We fully support the idea of the European Education Arena by 2025. Improving access to quality education as well as changing and improving the ways to lifelong learning play a significant role there. High-level STEM skills are key to fostering innovation and ensuring European competitiveness also beyond 2025. Ensuring a high level of skills in Europe means a common skills and competence policy within the EU arena; involving both vocational education and training and tertiary education as well as academia. Also, we need to acknowledge skills and competence in a mutual framework and encourage cross-border mobility.
    Your contact: Anni Siltanen, Senior Advisor, Skills and Competence, anni.siltanen@kemianteollisuus.fi, +358 44 562 5991


  1. A Europe fit for the digital age: It is obvious that Europe must invest in digitalization with a wide set of actions and programs. Europe must aim at taking the lead in developing and using new technical tools (AI, big data, blockchain technology etc.). However, boosting the use of existing digital systems will also improve productivity of a remarkable number of companies. Special attention should be given to SME’s digital capacities. Liability and safety are of great importance for the chemical industry. Protection of confidentiality of production and business data must be ensured. (E.g. Chemical data, industrial plant data for security reasons, etc.).
    Your contact: Riitta Juvonen, Chief Advisor, Industry transformation, riitta.juvonen@kemianteollisuus.fi, +358 40 515 7107


More about our goal for the sector’s carbon neutrality by 2035: https://www.kemianteollisuus.fi/en/sustainability/       

The chemical industry is one of the most important industrial sectors in Finland. It accounts for approximately 20% of the industrial production and the export of goods. The Finnish chemical industry covers the chemical process industry, oil products and other chemical products such as pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, detergents, paints, plastics and rubber products.

The Chemical Industry Federation of Finland is a trade association for the chemical industry and its affiliate industries. The goal of the association is to actively promote the competitiveness and operational preconditions of its members in Finland. The Chemical Industry Federation of Finland has almost 400 member companies and 13 member and cooperation associations