CO₂operation Conference

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Time and place

September 13, 2022

9:30 to 17:30

Square Brussels (at Brussels Central station)

Among other sectors, heavy industry faces significant challenges in transforming and aligning with international and European climate targets. Some 18% of the EU’s emissions originate from the production of basic materials like steel, cement, lime, and chemicals. A substantial part of Europe’s production of these materials takes place in industrial clusters in North-Western Europe. The ARRRA (Antwerp-Rotterdam-Rhine-Ruhr Area) cluster produces 40% of all chemicals in Europe. Steel and cement companies also show a high degree of regional integration. The mutual interdependence of companies operating in the cluster translates into everyday needs and similar emissions reduction challenges.

To act on climate change, fulfil their societal role, and stay competitive in the future, companies in the ARRRA cluster must comply with the net-zero and circularity objectives of the European Green Deal. Given its highly interconnected nature, the cluster needs a renewed joint strategy toward net-zero emissions in 2050 for all sectors. The cross-border nature of some of these industries calls for cross-border government efforts to decarbonise.

This conference will focus on how The Netherlands, Belgium and North Rhine-Westphalia can collaborate to speed up the decarbonisation of the ARRRA cluster; one of the biggest industrial conglomerations in Europe. In the morning, the event will feature discussions on the different industrial decarbonisation policies, the most significant challenges, and how to realise cross-border infrastructure. In the afternoon, we will bring together expert speakers to review different tools to decarbonise industry.

Preliminary Programme

• 9:00: Registration
• 9:20: Welcome – Jonas Helseth, Director, Bellona Europa

Part 1: Challenges of industrial decarbonisation

• 9:30: Industrial climate policy in Flanders – Jo Brouns, Flemish Minister, Economy, Innovation, Work, Social Economy and Agriculture
• 9:45: Realising the EU Green Deal: the need for industrial decarbonisation and cross-border  collaboration – Tomas Wyns, Senior Researcher, Vrije Universiteit Brussel
• 10:15: Realising the necessary infrastructure projects – Steven Van Caekenberghe, Head of H2 and CO2 program, Fluxys
• 10:30: Coffee break & networking

Part 2: National policies in the ARRRA cluster

• 11:00: Industrial climate policy in the Netherlands – Tom Mikunda, Senior Policy Advisor, Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy
• 11:15: Industrial climate policy in Belgium – Maxime Saliez, Policy Advisor, Belgian federal  Ministry of Energy
• 11:30: Industrial climate policy in North Rhine-Westphalia – Dr Michael Walther, Team Leader, NRW.Energy4Climate’s industry department
• 11:45: Panel discussion with Tom Mikunda, Maxime Saliez and Dr Michael Walther (moderator: Laurien Spruyt, Senior Climate and Industry Policy Manager, Bellona Europa)
• 12:30: Lunch break

Part 3: Technologies to realise net-zero emissions in industry

• 13:30: CCU and accounting of emissions – Dr Andrea Ramírez Ramírez, Professor of Low Carbon Systems and Technologies in the Faculty of Technology, Policy and Management, Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands
• 14:15: CCS governance model in the Netherlands – Tom Mikunda, Senior Policy Advisor, Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy & Michelle Prins, Programme Lead on Sustainable Industries, Natuur & Milieu
• 15:00: Coffee Break
• 15:30: Role of ports as hydrogen and circular economy hubs – Tycho Van Hauwaert, Policy  Officer on Industry and Circular Economy, Bond Beter Leefmilieu & Jakob Petutschnig, Policy Manager, Zero-Carbon Fuels, Clean Air Task Force
• 16:15: Just transition and the role of the unions in Europe, the Netherlands, Belgium and North  Rhine-Westphalia – Benjamin Denis, Senior Policy Advisor, IndustriAll, Bas van Weegberg, Executive Board Member,  FNV, Wim Careel, Advisor, ABVV  Metaal, Sophia Schönborn, IGBCE (moderator: Jeroen Fonteyn, Project manager circular economy and industry, Bond Beter Leefmilieu)
• 17:00: Apero with wine and Belgian beers
• 18:00: Closing


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