Policy Position

Long Term Strategy 2050

Sep 01, 2023


In November 2018, the European Commission published a A Clean Planet for all. A European strategic long-term vision for a prosperous, modern, competitive and climate neutral economy, a document aiming to explore the decarbonisation pathways towards 2050 and address Climate Change challenges. It was accompanied by its In-depth analysis in support of the commission communication COM (2018) 773. The European Commission encouraged the different sectors to make similar exercises by looking into the future.

What is all about?

This strategic communication constitutes the European the long-term vision for a prosperous, modern, competitive and climate neutral economy, aiming to the transformation towards a net-zero GHG emissions economy by 2050. The EU has already set targets of at least 32,5% on Energy Efficiency, 32% of the EU final energy consumption coming from renewable sources and RES and CO2 emissions reduction by 40% by 2030 aiming at net zero emissions by 2050, in line with Paris agreement.

Why this is important for lime?

Lime has been referenced on multiple times, often considered together with cement, i.e. Cement and lime together represent 8% of the total GHG emissions, both sectors reduced their GHG emissions by 30% between 1995 and 2015 although the text acknowledges the difficulty to reduce emissions. The Lime Roadmap, the innovation reports and the lime research priorities are referenced there.

There is a need to identify the necessary steps to tackle decarbonisation of the lime sector

However, the efforts of the industry are considered not to be enough.

Technologies aiming decarbonisation are used in other sectors to mitigate CO2 emissions reduction. We are asked to raise the bar of innovation and further contribute to the energy transition pathway.

This communication will potentially impact all policy areas, notably ETS, Waste and Energy Efficiency legislation, CLM BREF revision etc. Various are the challenges for the lime sector to this respect, notably for carbon leakage, substitution and policy push to privilege products with a more environmentally friendly profile.

Production implications

  • Energy efficiency targets.
  • Fuel switching (Deep electrification with high rates of RES and biomass for heating).
  • Waste heat recovery.

Market implications

  • Substitution/ Innovative competing products with similar functionalities.
  • New products which are climate change friendly based on carbon neutrality.
  • Markets for secondary raw materials and related standards.
  • Products based on environmental footprint criteria, i.e. CO2 emissions/avoidance.
  • Development of eco-industries.
  • Circular economy i.e. targets for recycling rates and the imposition of recycled products in new ones.

Potential impact /challenges for lime

  • Consumption patterns will change towards less carbon-intensive products. New innovative products are expected to enter in the market e.g. new binders, lighter, more robust, although having the same features.
  • Shrinking of several lime markets i.e. closure of coal plants.
  • Material substitution aiming to less carbon intensive products while having the same functionalities.
  • Innovation CCS and CCUS on process emissions are vital, need for research and innovation.
  • Other EIIs are front runners on low carbon innovation, i.e. steel (low carbon steel) chemicals, cement (low carbon cement, replacement of Portland cement, clinker free cement).
  • There is a certainty that EIIs will still exist in 2050 but certainly with different feedstocks, production methods, energy sources and products.

The EuLA Board has initiated a strategic thinking exercise to reflect on how the sector can collectively answer to these challenges and identify areas of common non-competitive interest to work together.

Industrial Value Chain: A Bridge towards a Carbon Neutral Europe

Ahead of the publication of this communication, EuLA together with other 10 energy Intensives industries published on September 2018 study on Industrial value chain: A bridge towards a carbon neutral Europe and jointly submitted to the EC.

This report was conducted by the Institute for European Studies (IES-VUB) on the behalf of the EU’s Energy Intensive Industries (EIIs) to the EU Commission’s LTS. It identifies common opportunities and challenges faced by European EIIs in meeting ambitious climate targets, highlights the constructive and solutions-oriented role that the EIIs have been playing, determines a combination of key solutions that will help EIIs to significantly reduce their emissions, as well as addresses the necessary conditions for ensuring that Europe is at the forefront of the energy and industrial transformation. The report outlines a new and integrated EU industrial strategy for EIIs as part of a competitive low-CO2 transition, and underscores that an EU strategy for long-term EU greenhouse gas emission reductions will only be successful if it fully embeds an industrial strategy.

HLG EIIs´s Master Plan

In order to continue with this work and achieve an effective LTS, the High-Level Group on Energy Intensive industries (EIIs) of the European Commission set up in 2017 and in which EuLA is member, is the vehicle to unfold this LT strategy. The task of the HLG is to advise and assist the Commission in the preparation of possible future policy initiatives relating to or affecting energy-intensive industries by identifying challenges and strategic priorities.

The HLG develops an operational Master Plan for the implementation of the energy-intensive industries’ transition towards a climate-neutral and circular economy. This indicates the main short- and long-term actions required from industrial value chains and the relevant enabling framework at the European and Member State levels. It also identifies concrete areas and large-scale investment cases requiring R&I and investment and inform national energy and climate plans, taking into account of, inter alia, the ongoing work to develop strategic value chains, the Roundtable on Industry 2030, the Sustainable Financing Action Plan and Horizon 2020/Europe.

Lime Roadmap 2050

Prior to the 2050 Long Term Strategy (LTS) EuLA also was active under the 2011 Roadmap for a competitive low-carbon Europe. This 2011 Roadmap was followed by a “Roadmap for a resource-efficient Europe“, in September 2011 and an “Energy Roadmap 2050” in December 2011 that lead to a new “climate change and energy package 2030”.

Launch of the roadmap

On the 03rd of December 2014, EuLA organised a breakfast meeting with the European Parliament Intergroup on “Climate Change, Biodiversity and Sustainable Development” in order to launch its roadmap. The event was co-hosted by MEP Peter Liese (Member of the EP Committee on Environment, Public Health and Food Safety) and MEP Paul Rübig (Member of the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy, Co-Chair of the “Research & Innovation” Working Group of the European Parliament Intergroup on “Climate Change, Biodiversity and Sustainable Development”).

The following documents were presented:

Increasing carbon constraints towards 2050 invite the European lime industry to look for ways to become even more CO2 -efficient, while maintaining its global competitiveness.

This Roadmap 2050 regards improved energy efficiency and fuel switch (from fossil solid fuels to gas or biomass) and concludes that these options have limited impact. Two-third of all carbon emissions in lime production are released from the raw material during the production process and can be reduced by Carbon Capture and Storage or Utilization, for which the business case needs to improve to become attractive.

In a Europe with increasing pressure on CO2 emission, the competitiveness of the lime industry needs special attention, particularly in the framework of the EU emissions trading scheme (ETS). Unilateral EU pressure on CO2 emissions from the manufacturing industry could reduce both the EU demand for lime (in case of carbon leakage in customer sectors) and the share of the remaining EU demand that is produced in the EU.

  • A Competitive and Efficient Lime Industry, Cornerstone for a Sustainable Europe (Lime Roadmap) – Summary
  • A Competitive and Efficient Lime Industry, Cornerstone for a Sustainable Europe (Lime Roadmap) – Technical report by Ecofys
  • A Competitive and Efficient Lime Industry, Cornerstone for a Sustainable Europe (Lime Roadmap) – Presentation

Our Position

Our industry needs regulatory predictability and stability, with a long-term industrial policy.

A global level playing field for climate policies (and carbon leakage mitigation measures in the absence of a global climate agreement, for the energy intensive industries).

CCS/CCU needs to be developed and deployed.

The natural (re)carbonation of lime should be accounted as a CO2 abatement technique.

Access to innovative investment models or direct support for low-carbon investments.

An European energy policy aiming at a fully integrated and well-functioning energy market, taking into account energy requirements in international negotiations, with a more diverse and competitive energy supply, while eliminating the differences of energy prices within Europe as a consequence of national differences in energy taxation.

Future CO2 reduction targets should not take the feasibility of large scale implementation of CCS/CCU for granted, take differences between sectors into account, and provide long term certainty.

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