Everyone knows that the fossil fuel industry drives global warming. A new report shows that the chemical industry contributes to the climate crisis, too. But the conversation about solutions to climate change has largely omitted the role that chemicals and petrochemicals play in exacerbating the crisis, and the report says policymakers should start thinking about ways to green the industry.
The chemical sector doesn’t just make products like inks, solvents, glues, and soaps. It also makes products out of oil and gas like plastics, fertilizer, and synthetic rubber. The chemical industry often relies on fossil fuels to power its factories and make its products. And some of these chemicals, like refrigerants, are potent greenhouse gases themselves. All of those emissions add up.