UNIDO's Campaign Sparks Green Procurement Revolution

UNIDOImage Source: UNIDO


At COP28, major nations like Canada, Germany, the UK, and the US joined UNIDO's initiative to steer the steel and cement industries towards low-emission production. The commitment, part of IDDI's Green Public Procurement Pledge, aims to drive the demand for greener steel, cement, and concrete, crucial for global decarbonization efforts.


Recently at COP28, a pivotal moment unfolded as leading nations, including Canada, Germany, the UK, and the US, embraced a commitment under UNIDO's Industrial Deep Decarbonization Initiative (IDDI). Their pledge centered on leveraging public procurement to steer industries producing steel, cement, and concrete towards low-emission practices, a critical step in the global fight against climate change.

The governments of these prominent nations, part of IDDI's network striving to shift industrial organizations away from fossil fuels, have vowed to adopt time-bound commitments. Their focus is on procuring low-emission materials and setting emissions reduction thresholds for entire project life cycles, emphasizing achieving net-zero emissions in public infrastructure.

Director General of UNIDO, Gerd Müller, hailed this move as a significant stride toward global decarbonization. He emphasized the colossal impact governments hold as major buyers in infrastructure projects, estimating their procurement responsibilities at 25% of global construction revenue. Müller lauded nations like Canada, Germany, the UK, the US, Austria, Japan, and the UAE for spearheading this crucial initiative.

This commitment aligns with IDDI's Green Public Procurement Pledge, designed to incentivize the production and use of low and near-zero emission steel, cement, and concrete. The explicit aim is to create substantial demand for greener materials, particularly in the construction sector, heralding a pivotal shift toward decarbonization.

Steel and concrete, fundamental to global infrastructure, paradoxically stand as some of the most carbon-intensive materials. Accounting for a significant portion of global energy sector emissions, reducing carbon emissions from these sectors by more than 90% by 2050 is imperative to meet global climate targets.

Government representatives, such as the UK’s Minister for Energy Security and Net Zero, Graham Stuart, emphasized the transformative power governments possess through public contracts. This commitment signals a collaborative effort among these nations to stimulate innovation, deploy breakthrough technologies, and establish unified emissions accounting standards for these crucial materials.


The commitment made by influential nations like Canada, Germany, the UK, and the US, to procure low-emission steel, cement, and concrete, marks a pivotal step towards decarbonizing heavy industries. UNIDO's initiative under the IDDI umbrella, leveraging public procurement for greener materials, signals a promising shift toward a more sustainable future.

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