IFAT Industry Insights

3 questions to Richard Clemens

Managing Director of the Process Plant and Equipment Association, German Engineering Federation (VDMA)

IFAT | In your opinion, what is the biggest hurdle on the way to a genuine circular economy?

Clemens | The mobilization of the industry for a clean and green economy is an essential element of the European Green Deal. Hence, there is a need to promote the development of lead markets for climate-neutral and cycle-oriented products within and outside the EU, aiming at a cycle-oriented design of all products based on common methods and principles.

IFAT | How do you assess the Green New Deal by EU Commissioner Ursula von der Leyen?

Clemens | We welcome the proposal for the Green New Deal: the key to a successful transition to a climate-neutral and circular economy is the widespread use of innovative technologies. Mechanical engineering has many technologies that can provide solutions to current challenges on the way to achieving the Commission's climate change objectives. However, the Green Deal, which combines many existing regulations with new strategies and incentives, should be managed with market-based instruments, and—in a technologically neutral way—we should look for the best CO2 avoidance options.

IFAT | What expectations do you have of the upcoming IFAT 2020?

Clemens | Mechanical engineering is an enabler for environmental protection technologies, and environmental protection and economic success can certainly go hand in hand. The Green New Deal offers the engineering industry the opportunity to create new value chains. In this respect, IFAT is the ultimate platform where innovative technologies are presented to an international audience of trade visitors. I personally look forward to IFAT 2020, the showcase for our industry.

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