American Chemistry MattersA Blog of the American Chemistry Council

American Chemistry Matters

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How are global chemical manufacturers helping to tackle climate change? [VIDEO]

2015 is a crucial year for moving the international climate change negotiations forward, and some of the world’s brightest solutions providers – global chemical manufacturers – are ready to help.

At the UN Climate Summit in September 2014, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon called for the private sector to drive more action and mobilize political will for a meaningful agreement in 2015. We listened then, and we’re listening now.

Our industry provides solutions in many areas such as building climate smart cities, fostering energy generation and storage through new technologies, and enhancing energy efficiency in our own processes and within the supply chains.

ICCA’s Building’s Technology Roadmap estimates that combining ambitious energy improvements with lower-carbon fuels and electricity use could cut energy use by 41% and greenhouse gas emissions by 70% by 2050.

In addition creating products that help save energy in our buildings, there’s a lesser known but similarly powerful technological process that can aid efforts to improve energy efficiency, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, feed a growing population, and improve health and living standards. It’s called catalysis.

Catalysts are added substances that increase the rate of chemical reactions. When used in the manufacturing process, they improve resource and energy efficiency, which helps lessen greenhouse gas emissions. In many ways, catalysis makes modern living possible, with valuable contributions in areas such as transportation, energy, food production, and health.

The global chemicals sector has produced a roadmap that explores wider adoption of catalysis as a route to improved efficiency. Around 90% of chemical manufacturing processes use catalysis, and experts say that related process improvements by future “game changing” technologies could slash energy intensity of these processes.

And with the 21st session of the Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC (COP-21) fast approaching this winter, we know the world will be looking to global chemical manufacturers do what we do best: create solutions to the world’s greatest challenges.

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