It’s one of the biggest industries in the world, consumes more than 10% of fossil fuels produced globally and emits an estimated 3.3 gigatons of greenhouse gas emissions a year, more than India’s annual emissions – yet the chemicals sector has largely slipped under the radar when it comes to climate.
This sprawling industry produces a huge range of products, many of which support other industries – pesticides for agriculture, acids for mining, lubricants for machinery, ingredients in cleaning agents, cosmetics and pharmaceuticals and plastics.
While the industry has an important role to play in moving to low-carbon economies – providing coatings for solar panels, lightweight plastics to reduce vehicles’ energy consumption and insulating materials for buildings – it’s also hugely carbon intensive and predicted to become more so. Oil companies have been betting on chemicals as a way to remain profitable as the world pledges to turn away from fossil fuel energy. The International Energy Agency predicted that petrochemicals could account for 60% of oil demand in
— source theguardian.com | XiaoZhi Lim | 5 Jan 2022