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Meeting with 
 BASF and 
 CEFIC, 
 
Ref. Ares(2020)7729037 - 18/12/2020
Online, 5 November 2020, 10h30-11h15 
Steering brief  
Scene setter 
You will have a virtual meeting with the 
 CEFIC and 
BASF, 
. The concept is a video dialogue between the two of you, which 
would be open to be watched by the CEOs and high-level executives of the wider 
European chemical industry. It will be moderated by 
 (
), who 
you met in Amsterdam at the CEFIC convention two years ago. 
Mr 
 would like to discuss the ‘at least 55%’ target for 2030 and the 
Chemical Strategy for Sustainability under the Green Deal as these two topics are 
crucial for the future of the chemicals sector. Other topics which may be raised include the 
chemical industry and circular economy as well as the illegal import of hydrofluorocarbons 
(HFCs). 
CEFIC positions 
On decarbonisation of the chemical sector 
BASF is a large chemical company actively exploring how to reduce its CO2 emissions 
and has already joined the European Clean Hydrogen Alliance. BASF could therefore 
potentially be active on hydrogen supply (by pyrolysis) and take-up of renewable 
hydrogen in its processes.  
CEFIC supports the Green Deal and Europe's ambition to become climate neutral by 
2050. To achieve the climate targets, CEFIC has consistently underlined the need for an 
‘enabling framework’. For CEFIC, the main pillars of such a framework are an effective 
mechanism to avoid carbon leakage, the availability of abundant and affordable 
renewable electricity and increased recycling and circularity.  
CEFIC supports the EU ETS as a ‘key instrument aiming to achieve agreed emission 
reductions at the lowest cost’. It voiced support for the dynamic free allocation principle. 
, CEFIC’s 
, has recently advocated that all funding coming 
from the EU ETS should be returned to innovation in the sectors inside the ETS. CEFIC 
has expressed its dissatisfaction with the exclusion of the ‘organic chemicals’ sector 
from the list of sectors eligible to receive indirect cost compensation.  
Some chemicals sub-sectors have repeatedly expressed concerns about losing 
eligibility for State aid 
following the revision of the revised ETS-related State aid 
Guidelines  
adopted in September 2020. They will enter into force on 1 January 2021. 
Petrochemicals which are at the origin of many important value chains and account for 
over 25% of total EU chemicals sales, and fertilisers which account for about 5% of EU 
chemicals sales, are the most prominent among them. Both these sub-sectors have lost 
eligibility as a result of the revision. 
CEFIC would not prefer a Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM) for the 
chemical sector:  
  Being first and foremost an exporting sector – the EU chemical industry may be 
penalised by possible retaliation measures adopted by countries whose exports to the 
EU will be affected by the CBAM.  
  The extremely interlinked nature of the chemical industry, with many value chains 
relying on trade with intermediate inputs, may lead to CBAM affecting the 
competitiveness of its own products.  
CEFIC considers that any future CBAM measures would need to be complementary to 
the ETS free allocation system
. CEFIC is not necessarily in favour of a cumulative 
Steering brief 
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Meeting with 
 BASF and 
 CEFIC, 
 
Online, 5 November 2020, 10h30-11h15 
Objectives of the meeting 
  What we want: 
  Encourage industry stakeholders to engage with national authorities in preparation 
of the National Recovery and Resilience plans. 
  Explain to BASF/CEFIC the overall approach of the Commission to the chemical 
recycling of plastics.  
  What the interlocutor wants: 
  An exchange of views and the opportunity to put questions to you. 
Key messages 
On the decarbonisation of the chemical sector 
 The EU stands ready to support the chemical industry’s efforts towards 
decarbonisation, including through support to development and improving market 
readiness  and uptake of promising technologies:  
 For 
instance, 
Horizon Europe working in synergy with the Innovation Fund under 
the EU ETS and the InvestEU Fund will become important enabling tools in this 
direction. 
  CEFIC’s members should therefore be encouraged to engage with the relevant 
national authorities to be able to benefit from the funding available under the 
Recovery and Resilience Facility.  
  The chemical industry is one of the key energy-intensive industries that we wish to 
involve in the Alliance on Low-carbon Industries. 
On the Chemicals strategy for sustainability 
  The Strategy sets out an ambitious regulatory agenda. It will be rolled out in a phased 
manner, through targeted modification of chemicals legislation, including REACH, and 
will build on impact assessments.  
  The transition to chemicals that are safe and sustainable by design is not only a 
societal urgency but also a great economic opportunity. The Strategy will steer and 
support industry in its green transition. Support exists in the form of Member State 
investments in projects facilitating the green and digital transition
 and the 
Commission’s  financial instruments for R&D programmes,  re-skilling and 
innovative business models 
to name just a few. 
  The Commission cannot implement the Strategy on its own. Expert and stakeholder 
input is needed. That is why we will establish a high-level round table with experts 
from industry, science and civil society
 to realise the Strategy’s objectives in 
dialogue will all stakeholders concerned. It will focus on how to make the chemicals 
legislation work more efficiently and effectively, but also on how to boost the 
development and uptake of innovative safe and sustainable chemicals across sectors.  
  Coherence in the regulatory processes will signal the direction and secure long-
term investments, which will enable our industry to reap the first-mover advantage. 
On the chemical industry and the circular economy 
  The European Commission is ready to encourage investments in chemical recycling of 
plastics, as part of our strategy to economic recovery, if we are truly convinced this is 
also sustainable recovery.  
Steering brief 
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Meeting with 
 BASF and 
CEFIC, 
 
Online, 5 November 2020, 10h30-11h15 
  There is a need to demonstrate the environmental benefits of chemical recycling 
of plastics based on robust data and evidence. Chemical recycling needs to prove 
that it is better than landfilling or incineration, when looking at all environmental aspects 
(including CO2 emissions).  
On illegal HFC imports 
 Since 2019, targeted actions to prevent illegal imports have been taken. The 
Commission has in particular focused on: 
  Rapidly building the IT system ‘EU Single Window for Customs’, which ensures 
controls become more effective.  
  Insisting clearly with Member States at all levels that good implementation is 
needed, including though dissuasive penalties for illegal activities;  
 Developing 
and 
exchanging best practices on how to step up enforcement and 
ensure dissuasive penalties for illegal activities. 
Contact – briefing coordination: 
, tel.: 
 
Steering brief 
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