CEM Launches Industrial Deep Decarbonisation Initiative
A coalition of governments and organizations, led by the United Kingdom and India, launched the new Clean Energy Ministerial’s Industrial Deep Decarbonisation Initiative in June beginning. Coordinated by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization, this ground-breaking effort aims to create market demand for low carbon industrial materials, especially more sustainable steel and cement. Through this initiative, UNIDO will work with governments worldwide to agree on a global 2050 vision for the decarbonisation of the steel and cement industries with ambitious targets informed by collective stakeholder inputs
In addition to the UK and India, other members of the coalition include Germany, Canada and the United Arab Emirates, with more countries expected to join soon. The initiative also brings together a strong group of related programmes and organizations including the Mission Possible Platform, the Leadership Group for the Industry Transition, the International Renewable Energy Agency and the World Bank to tackle one of the next frontiers in the race against climate change.
To date steel and cement, which each represent around 7-8 per cent of energy related emissions globally, have remained out of reach in the pursuit to mitigate carbon emissions. The need for continuous, high-temperature heat to produce these construction products requires large amounts of energy, a lot of which is still dependent on fossil fuels.
While there is still a way to go before clearly defined low-carbon steel and cement is available in the market at scale, green public procurement commitments are essential in signalling that demand exists. For example, public procurement accounts for 46 per cent of cement consumption in the United States of America, making it a colossal purchasing power in creating a market for lower emission materials. The same can be said for nations in the European Union and for many emerging industrial economies.
Within the next three years, the IDDI expects to have encouraged a minimum of 10 national governments, and a number of municipalities, to make public procurement commitments for low-carbon steel and cement. The first of a series of government commitments for the procurement of low-carbon steel and cement are expected to be announced at the upcoming global climate talks, hosted by the UK in Glasgow later this year.