Green Deal will impact us all
The EU has committed to being carbon neutral by 2050 and the European Green Deal is the roadmap to achieve this. There had been speculations that the current Covid-19 pandemic would force the EU to reconsider this objective, but these proved wrong. On the contrary, the EU has reasserted its commitment to the EU Green Deal by firstly, including it in the Recovery Plan that was adopted in June and secondly, by maintaining the timelines originally foreseen. The Green Deal is here to stay and it will be the driving force behind the EU’s political agenda in the coming years.
The Green Deal will impact us all, whether citizens or businesses, and the coatings industry is no exception. The Green Deal consists of several initiatives, many of which are relevant such as the circular economy action plan (especially the Sustainable Product Policy Framework and the new waste focus on increasing safety of secondary raw materials), the initiatives around construction and the industrial policy. However, the most relevant for our industry is likely to be the upcoming Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability. The overall objective of this strategy will be to further increase the level of protection of human health and environment.
Favour of risk approach
It will focus, in particular, on issues such as the exposure to endocrine disruptors, combinations of chemicals, hazardous chemicals in products including in imports and very persistent chemicals. As CEPE we will advocate that coatings are part of the solution to establish a circular economy in Europe and to become more sustainable. Therefore, we will stress the need for the EU chemicals framework to adopt a holistic approach towards sustainability, which includes i.a. favouring a risk approach rather than a hazard approach and basing decisions on clear evidence and sound science.
The issues stemming from the Green Deal will form the basis of all of the work of CEPE in the coming years. In addition, CEPE has established two working groups around the Green Deal. The first group focuses exclusively on the issue of extended producer responsibility (of waste), while the second is specifically devoted to the policy and political aspects of the Green Deal. The first meeting of these two groups is set for September.