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Exploring the challenging journey of chemicals in a turmoil world

A conversation with Coby van der Linde from Clingendael Institute in the Netherlands and Frans Stokman, Cefic Executive Director Petrochemicals Europe

In a dialogue, Coby van der Linde and Frans Stokman touched on many topics related to the challenges that come with future energy resourcing. From geopolitical differences and challenges, to the recent pledge from China to become carbon- neutral and how to achieve this, through to various resources like hydrogen and biomass.

Coby mentioned that the hydrogen transition will typically start in the various asset clusters of industry yet needing a lot of space, in the period of transition fossil will still be needed as a backbone. Normally an energy transition takes decades and various investment cycles, whilst with the Green deal the speed is enormous, she added.

While Europe is going through a major transition as it is pursuing the Green Deal with the support of the European Recovery Plan, the challenges are huge. Policy makers will need to provide the hands and feet as well as flexibility to support the transition Coby said. This is a about carbon management rather than decarbonization, she said, and we will probably have to look at all different options, including nuclear and thorium generated electricity.

One thing she also stressed in the dialogue with Frans Stokman is that the industry need lots of young and capable people to make it happen.

“We need new regulation to be flexible, the industry should be allowed to test and experiment with Hydrogen without limitations, the industry needs to be incentivized in moving form Carbo to Petro to hydro” Prof. dr. Coby van der Linde – Director of the Clingendael International Energy Programme

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