Effective climate protection for a sustainable and competitive industry

The paper industry is committed to the climate goals and the exemplary role of Europe. Above all, post-crisis reconstruction must be climate-friendly and at the same time secure for the location. Measures to protect the climate and domestic industry need not be contradictory.


climate protection

The paper industry is committed to climate goals and decarbonisation.

It is subject to emissions trading and emitted 1.6 million tonnes of fossilCO2 in 2020.

Compared to 2000, it achieves an absoluteCO2 reduction of 20%, even though 600,000 tonnes or 14% more paper is produced today than in 2000 (2019).

Fossil CO2 emissions per tonne of paper were improved by a total of 30% compared to 2000.


The current climate targets for 2030 and the legally enshrined climate neutrality by 2050 are extremely ambitious by international standards. The Austrian government has committed itself to achieving the target ten years earlier, i.e. by 2040, which means that essential legislative matters and climate instruments must be revised and tightened up: for example, the European emissions trading system, measures in the field of non-ETS and directives on renewable energies and energy efficiency.

Paper industry invests in climate protection

The paper industry is committed to the climate goals and also actively contributes to CO2 reduction. It has already successfully decoupled its CO2 emissions from economic growth and reduced its fossil CO2 by 20% from 2000 to the present. Several mills have also announced investments in CO2 reduction measures for the coming years. These concern, for example, the development of innovative and sustainable products or the sustainable design of energy supply. For the paper industry, it is important to take advantage of the opportunities offered by decarbonization. Financial support for low-CO2 technologies where they achieve the greatest benefit at the lowest cost is essential for further and continuous improvement.

Reduction of absolute fossil CO2 emissions since 2000
Reduction of fossil CO2 emissions per tonne of paper
Increase in paper production since 1990

Status 2019

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Equal conditions for all

Europe can and should take a leading role in climate protection. This requires fair competitive conditions within Europe but also globally. Optional measures, such as indirect CO2 cost compensation, which allow individual countries to reimburse their emissions trading companies for CO2 costs, must be based on a uniform framework. While many EU states make use of this possibility for their industry, it is not granted in Austria, for example, which distorts intra-European competition and weakens Austria as a business location. It is essential for industry that a broad level playing field prevails. Companies that are subject to CO2 trading must not be charged twice. As long as there are still different speeds in global climate efforts, effective carbon leakage protection regulations, such as the free allocations in emissions trading at present, are an important prerequisite for companies. International harmony in climate policy is an important framework for achieving climate targets economically.

Climate change tariffs

The development of a Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism to strengthen competitiveness with countries outside Europe is also currently under intensive discussion. This is intended to replace current measures, such as the free allocation of CO2 certificates, and at the same time discourage European companies from migrating to other countries with lower CO2 standards. Any measure equivalent to a CO2 tax can only be an effective instrument at European, and ideally even global level. The design and security of such a mechanism will be essential. In any case, a large number of factors must be sufficiently assessed in advance to make clear the individual impact of a new measure on all sectors.

Pulp Pöls
cepi study

Bind CO2 in wood-based products

Forests are important CO2 storage facilities. If the wood is processed into products, the CO2 remains stored in them. The study "Climate effect of the forest-based sector in the European Union" has investigated the CO2 effect of products and processes in forestry. The study of the European paper industry, together with partners along the entire wood value chain, concludes that the forest-based sector saves 806 million tonnes of CO2 every year. This corresponds to 20 percent of the EU's total CO2 emissions.


location lenzing 01(1)


Lenzing will substantially reduce CO2 emissions to become climate-neutral by 2050. Lenzing pays attention to low-CO2 energy sources and processes not only in existing production processes but also in the construction of new pulp and lyocell plants. A first milestone is 2030 - by then emissions per ton of pulp and fibers produced will be reduced by 50% compared to 2017. The measures taken are in line with the objectives of the Paris Climate Convention and are therefore recognized as "science based".

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