The scientific body of evidence now weighs strongly toward the view that the earth is experiencing climate change induced by anthropogenic activities. Most climatologists identify a direct link between rising carbon dioxide and other global warming gases (GWG) being released to the atmosphere such as through the combustion of fossil fuels and the warming of the climate. Climate models predict a range of problems will be induced by global warming including flooding of low lying coastal regions, and a greater incidence of crop failures and extreme weather events.
Chemical companies increasingly are positioning themselves to become part of the solution to stabilize climate change. According to leading chemical companies the chemical industry has a net positive impact on climate change and its products – such as insulation material and light-weight plastics for cars - save three times more carbon during their lifetime than the industry generates during production.
BASF in February 2008 was the first major chemical company to detail its contribution to climate change. It claims that its products save three times more GWG emissions than the company generates. The company evaluation took into account emissions from raw materials and precursors as well as the disposal of all products and was audited by an independent organization the Oko-Institut (Freiburg, Germany). http://www.chemweek.com/newsletters/cbd/10296.html
More chemical firms are certain to audit their carbon balance in future. Arguably, this could turn the public perception of the chemical industry from environmental adversary to environmental savior.
Chemical firms say they are investing more in products that could help to tackle climate change. In a survey undertaken jointly by PA Consulting and CW in 2007 a high percentage of leading chemical companies stated that recently they have shifted or are shifting their R&D program to focus more on products that could be used to curb climate change. See article.