Expert Statement: Ralf Brinkmann, Dow Germany
10.03.2021 - The European Chemical Industry has set out on an ambitious path to become carbon neutral.
Germany, as one of the major chemical manufacturing nations, has committed to achieve this goal by 2050. But companies need to translate this industry vision into their specific context.
System changes of the scale of CO2 neutrality for a whole industry sector require a new mindset. Major transformations command long lead times and require consistent and persistent follow-through. It is all but clear whether enough value is created to justify the huge investments and how new value generated is distributed among critical players and investors.
CHEManager asked executives and industry experts to share their opinions on this industry transformation, which is a multi-stakeholder challenge and comprises economical, technical, societal and political aspects. We proposed to discuss the following aspects:
- What is your strategy / timeline to become carbon neutral and what are the key challenges on the path to achieve this goal?
- What political / regulatory measures are needed to encourage companies to invest in carbon neutral technologies?
- What economical / societal benefits do you expect or hope for by decarbonizing your business?
- How do you plan to involve external stakeholders critical for achieving CO2 neutrality?
Ralf Brinkmann: We at Dow are committed to the Paris Climate Agreement and the EU Green Deal. In 2020 Dow set new targets to reduce GHG emissions, stop plastic waste, and drive toward a circular economy. We intend to be carbon neutral by 2050 and are committed to implementing and advancing technologies to manufacture products using fewer resources and that help customers reduce their carbon footprints. Hydrogen, alternative feedstocks, recycling technologies, circular economy and CO2 reduction are the most pressing topics of the future. We believe that collaboration with the right partners from the industry, politics, NGO´s, research and science institutes will bring the most value to reach this goal.
However, for us as a globally operating Material sciences company the EU Green Deal is both an opportunity, but also a challenge. Our industry, mainly being increasingly exposed to carbon leakage, needs a reliable political framework now for investments in tomorrow‘s low-carbon technologies. This is essential to achieve our goal of carbon neutrality by 2050 and includes a reliable and cost-effective supply of green energy, which must be available in large quantities. In addition, markets must credit and refinance CO2-free or CO2-reduced products through the pricing of products. This is crucial to maintain our international competitiveness through the transition period and to support investments in low-carbon technologies until a global playing field is realized.