New Net-Zero Tracker from the World Economic Forum

The World Economic Forum published the first edition of a report on the state of the transition to net zero in key industrial sectors, the Net-Zero Industry Tracker 2022. The report highlights the need to fully understand the scope and scale of the challenge for these sectors and identifies a significant gap in the pace of decarbonization needed to achieve net zero emissions targets to limit global warming to 1.5°C by 2050. The urgency of industrial decarbonization is reinforced by high energy prices and disruptions in the energy supply chain.

This initiative establishes a common and evidence-based understanding of the net zero transformation of the industrial sector, enabling cross-industry and multi-stakeholder collaboration. The report presents a holistic framework for a 360-degree perspective and standard metrics needed to measure progress, along with key recommendations for industrial companies, policy makers, consumers and other stakeholders.

Tracking progress and transparency are key to helping industries chart their decarbonization trajectory, maintain steady progress, and inform necessary course corrections along the way.

The report provides qualitative and quantitative metrics to track changes in key enabling dimensions such as technology maturity, access to enabling infrastructure, supporting policy frameworks, demand for low-emission products and availability of capital for investments in low-emission assets. It assesses the state of these enablers, which must advance simultaneously, and highlights sector-specific accelerators and priorities across five heavy industries – steel, cement, aluminum, ammonia, and oil and gas. gases, which together generate 80% of industrial emissions.

Given the cross-sectoral nature of the barriers and priorities for net-zero industrial transformation, innovative forms of partnership within and between sectors, and with other stakeholders, will be fundamental to meeting the challenge. Other measures include consensus on the definition of “low-emitting” industrial products and processes, robust and stable green demand signals, and risk-sharing mechanisms to attract the capital needed to develop technologies and infrastructure.

The report points out that more than $2 trillion will be needed to make low-emission industries a reality and that the first large-scale commercial projects still carry significant risks in which companies can invest.

The report, available here, stresses that concerted efforts should also include policymakers, financial institutions and consumers.

Melvin B. Baillie