CEPI launches its 2050 Roadmap to meet Europe's goal to reduce CO2 emissions by 80% by 2050, says industry needs available breakthrough technologies by 2030 to reach aims

Kendall Sinclair

Kendall Sinclair

Nov 17, 2011 – CEPI

BRUSSELS , November 17, 2011 (press release) – The Confederation of European Paper Industries (CEPI) unfolded the future when launching their 2050 Roadmap to a low-carbon bio-economy.

The roadmap attempts to lay out the future of the forest fibre industry and its potential to meet future consumer demands, stay competitive and deliver a CO2 emission reduction. This initiative addresses the European Commission roadmap, which modeled an overall industrial reduction of 80% in CO2 by 2050. The CEPI roadmap explores the technical, financial and resource constraints that lie ahead, and the policy framework that will be needed to tackle them.

The forest fibre industry has the ambition to be at the heart of the 2050 bio-economy, an essential platform for a range of bio-based products and the recycling society. The industry is expected to grow in line with EU GDP, by about 1.5% a year for the next 40 years. The future sector will be a cluster of more and more integrated activities and industries.

Carbon reduction can only be achieved with a technology push

The exploration shows that a reduction of 50 percent CO2 by 2050 is possible given the right circumstances, based on investment patterns and available and emerging technologies. To achieve an 80% CO2 reduction, however, it will need breakthrough technologies. These have to be developed and available by 2030.

The forest fibre industry has a much broader carbon profile than simply one of direct and indirect emitter. Its products can substitute for carbon-intensive fossil fuel-based products, whether for construction, fuel, chemicals, packaging or other purposes. And it works within Europe’s forests, which, when sustainably managed, store carbon.

Although the 2050 future is far away and today’s economy changes on an almost daily basis, the time to act is short. The 40 years ahead comprise only two investment cycles for a capital intensive industry; in other words, “2050 is two paper machines away”. Policymakers and industry have few opportunities to make crucial choices.

“This roadmap is the start of a debate. It aims to contribute to the discussion on the future policies of the European Commission and member states”, explained Teresa Presas, CEPI Director General. “It is not an action plan. Uncertainties in modeling the economy are too great to simply translate a 2050 modeled future into an action plan. It is however a holistic exploration into the future of our sector; it’s an industry pathway”, she adds.

European Commission Roadmap for moving to a low-carbon economy in 2050

About the Roadmap

This roadmap has been developed by representatives of all parts of the pulp and paper and wood products sector. Both companies and national associations have been involved. The starting points are the 2050 society and the 2050 consumer and how the sector will have to change to meet their future demands. Faced with external constraints on carbon and resources, we unfold the path to 2050 for technology, raw materials and finance, and consider the framework conditions and policies that need be in place to allow for the transition.

The forest fibre industry combines the pulp, paper, board and wood products industry as this sector has a clear joint future and uses a common raw material. The forest-based wood products and pulp and paper sectors in Europe consist of 200,000 companies, employing 1.9 million people, and providing around 75 billion euro in added value to the EU economy. The sector is for the most part based on raw materials from Europe.

About CEPI aisbl - Confederation of European Paper Industries

The CEPI is a Brussels-based non-profit making organisation regrouping the European pulp and paper industry and championing this industry’s achievements and the benefits of its products. Its mission is to promote the member’s business sector by taking specific actions notably, by monitoring and analysing activities and initiatives in the areas of industry, environment, energy, forestry, recycling policies and competitiveness in general. Through CEPI, the paper industry increases its visibility and acts on emerging issues, making expert and constructive contributions on behalf of the industry.

Through its 19 member countries (17 European Union members plus Norway and Switzerland) CEPI represents some 800 pulp, paper and board producing companies across Europe, ranging from small and medium sized companies to multi-nationals, and 1000 paper mills. Together they represent 25% of world production.␣

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