Renewable Carbon as a Guiding Principle for Sustainable Carbon Cycles

09 Nov 2022
Sustainable Materials for Manufacturing & Construction
In order to rapidly mitigate climate change and achieve our global ambition for greenhouse gas emission reductions, the inflow of further fossil carbon from the ground into our system must be reduced as quickly as possible and by high volumes. In the energy and transport sector, this means a vigorous and fast expansion of renewable energies, hydrogen and electromobility, the so-called decarbonisation of these sectors. The EU has already started pushing an ambitious agenda in this space and will continue to do so, for instance with the recently released ‘Fit for 55’ package. However, these policies have so far largely ignored other industries that extract and use fossil carbon.
The chemical and plastics industries have a high demand for carbon and are essentially only possible with carbon-based feedstocks, as most of their products cannot do without carbon. Unlike energy, these sectors cannot be “decarbonised” and molecules will still need carbon. In December 2021, for the first time ever, the European Commission (EC) published a communication paper on sustainable carbon cycles. Such a new policy approach must be further detailed to ensure the source of the carbon and carbon cycles can be optimised to minimise environmental impact, moving to more sustainable chemicals and materials.
In this presentation the importance of tackling the embedded carbon in chemicals and materials is highlighted and an approach to minimise its environmental impact and maximise reduction of GHG emissions is proposed, in accordance with the objectives of the Paris Agreement. The solution is defossilisation, the transformation from fossil to renewable carbon, carbon from biomass, CO2 and Recycling.
Michael Carus, Founder & Managing Director - Nova-Institute