Update of the key and the major publication of the RCI: “Renewable Carbon as a Guiding Principle for Sustainable Carbon Cycles”

Why it is Right and Necessary to choose Renewable Carbon as a Guiding Principle for Sustainable Development in the Chemicals and Materials Sectors

In September, the Renewable Carbon Initiative (RCI) released an updated version of its key and first major publication, titled “Renewable Carbon as a Guiding Principle for Sustainable Carbon Cycles”. This publication, first introduced in February 2022, forms the basis for the concept and strategy of the RCI. Together with input from all members, the report has undergone significant revisions to ensure its continued relevance in the ever-evolving landscape of sustainable carbon initiatives.

In the second edition, the following notable updates have been implemented:

  • Integration of latest data on greenhouse gas emissions from the 6th Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) (published March 2022).
  • Integration of entirely novel carbon flows data from RCI’s Carbon Flows report to establish proper data baselines.
  • Sharpening, fine-tuning and concretising the initial eleven policy recommendations derived from extensive advocacy efforts with politicians, NGOs, industry players, the bio-based, CO2-based and recycling sectors, energy experts and many other stakeholders over the past 18 months. Further political demands resulted from these discussions as well as recently published RCI position papers and consultations, which are now also integrated into the report.

To reduce greenhouse gas emissions and mitigate climate change, the inflow of fossil carbon must be reduced quickly and in high volumes. The EU has started pushing for decarbonisation in energy and transport sectors, but has largely ignored chemical and material industries. These sectors require carbon-based feedstocks and cannot be “decarbonised,” so tackling embedded carbon in these industries is crucial. This report proposes an approach to minimize environmental impact and maximize the reduction of GHG emissions.

“Renewable Carbon as a Guiding Principle for Sustainable Carbon Cycles” serves as a vital resource that not only defines the concept of renewable carbon but also underscores its critical role as a guiding principle for shaping effective policy. The publication highlights how transitioning from fossil carbon to renewable carbon in the chemical and derived materials industry can be facilitated, offering a pathway towards a defossilised future that enables to achieve net-zero targets and circularity of carbon.

This updated publication is a testament to the RCI’s ongoing commitment to providing the most up-to-date information and recommendations in the field of sustainable carbon management. It is a valuable resource for policymakers, industry leaders, and anyone interested in advancing the cause of renewable carbon.To access the updated publication, please visit https://renewable-carbon.eu/publications/product/renewable-carbon-as-a-guiding-principle-for-sustainable-carbon-cycles-pdf-2023/


Renewable Carbon Inititative, press release, 2023-11-06.


Renewable Carbon Initiative (RCI)


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