Chemical industry contributes to EU High Level Group on Competitiveness, Energy and Environment

The High Level Group on Competitiveness, Energy and the Environment (HLG), which was set up by the European Commission on the basis of its Communication on Industrial Policy of 5 October 2005, met in Brussels for its kick-off meeting. The Group, which has a mandate for two years, reached agreement on the working methods and on the subsequent subjects to be prepared for the next meeting: - The functioning of the energy markets in order to assess its short and long term impact on the competitiveness of industry, on the environment and on incentives for investment. - The EU emissions trading scheme in order to give input to the review of the scheme, notably by investigating the impact on electricity prices, the issue of a level playing field for industry and methods of allocation. - The competitiveness of European energy intensive industries, and in particular how access to energy inputs affect their competitiveness. - The energy efficiency in order to assess its impacts on competitiveness, analyse market barriers, and investigate financing mechanisms and means to increase awareness. All these priorities are linked to the current policy agenda, in particular the sector inquiry on electricity and gas markets, the review of the EU emissions trading scheme, the Lisbon strategy, Hampton Court and the preparation of the Energy Efficiency Action Plan. "It is with great pleasure that I will convey the chemical industry's views towards a more integrated and global approach in the field of energy, environment and competitiveness. I will contribute key discussion topics such as the energy policy, the liberalisation of energy markets or the emissions trading system, where improvements are urgently needed for the benefit of both the economy and the environment - and therefore society as a whole", said Theo Walthie, Chairman of Cefic's Energy, HSE and logistics Programme and also Business Group President for the hydrocarbons and Energy business of Dow. According to Cefic, the chemical industry is committed to provide every support needed to help make this advisory platform a success. As one of the major industrial sectors, allocating a large portion of its resources to research and development, it is a vital player in the search for future solutions.

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