PFAS and the green transition - how can we strike a balance?
WATCH RECORDING HERE
Per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are organic compounds containing fluorine that do not degrade. Consequently, they are sometimes referred to as ‘forever chemicals’. There are thousands of specific PFAS, with a range of consumer and industrial uses.
As part of the EU’s zero pollution ambition, which is a key commitment of the European Green Deal, the EU’s chemicals strategy aims to phase out the use of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in the EU, unless their use is essential. The EU is planning to ban around 10,000 PFAS substances.
However, many industry stakeholders argue that this potential ban makes no differentiation between the substance groups of PFAS and banning all of them will affect the technologies that are needed to reach climate neutrality and thus the green transition. They also argue that this regulatory approach jeopardises entire production processes in machinery and plant engineering – particularly new technologies in the energy transition – and lacks sufficient scientific foundation.
Join this Euractiv Virtual Conference to discuss the potential impacts of a blanket ban of PFAS on industry and what scope there is for a different classification of certain PFAS. Questions to be discussed include:
- What are the risks and disadvantages of using PFAS for health and the environment? How could these be averted?
- What impact can be foreseen for industry in the eventuality of an undifferentiated ban of PFAS?
- How can a comprehensive scientific risk assessment be carried out for the restricted substances, and what could be a solution for a more proportionate classification of PFAS?
- What impact would a ban on PFAS have on trade and international competition?
WATCH RECORDING HERE
Policy officer Reach, DG GROW, European Commission
Vice-President of the Lithuanian Consumers Alliance, Group III EESC
Dr. Jean-Luc Wietor
Deputy Policy Manager, Chemicals/Sustainable Production and Best Available Techniques, EEB
Prof. Mark Bücking
Head of department “Trace Analysis and Environmental Monitoring", Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology (IME)
Dr. Florian Henkel
Lead Global External Affairs & Government Relations, Cellcentric
09:30 – 09:35 Welcome
09:35 – 09:55 Panellist statements
09:55 – 10:40 Discussion and Q&A
10:40 – 10:45 Closing statements
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Some EU countries are pressing the European Commission to adopt a complete ban on toxic PFAS chemicals amid warnings of potential trade-offs with green technologies that could slow down the energy transition.