Climate Action

Is this the moment we put heavy industry on a path to net zero? This week's Great Reset podcast

A worker attends to machinery at a smelter plant at Anglo American Platinum's Unki mine in Shurugwi, Zimbabwe, May 16, 2019. REUTERS/Philimon Bulawayo - RC2CUF9JGF6G

How can energy intensive industries ever be climate-neutral? Image: REUTERS/Philimon Bulawayo

Robin Pomeroy
Podcast Editor, World Economic Forum
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The Great Reset

This article is part of: Virtual Industry Transition Day
  • The Great Reset is a podcast from the World Economic Forum.
  • This episode looks at how 'hard-to-abate' sectors can head for net-zero.
  • Post-COVID stimulus money could help in run-up to 2021 climate summit.

Heavy industry (cement, steel, chemicals and aluminium) and heavy-duty transport (shipping, trucking and aviation) are together responsible for nearly one-third of global CO2 emissions - and this percentage is expected to double under business-as-usual scenarios.

So as the world's economies struggle out of the coronavirus crisis, is this the moment to do what was once considered impossible: put these sectors on a path to net-zero greenhouse gas emissions?

Have you read?

Leaders from industry, government, finance and civil society came together to discuss that at a Virtual Industry Transition Day convened by the World Economic Forum.

You can watch all the sessions here. And hear highlights in the podcast:


Some key quotes:

Minister of State for Business, Energy and Clean Growth, United Kingdom, Kwasi Kwarteng: "As we look forward to COP26 next November, our aim is to increase ambition towards a climate resilient zero carbon economy. This progress needs to happen together for the global recovery from the COVID-19 crisis so that we can all build back better."

Heathrow Airport CEO John Holland-Kaye: “The game-changer for decarbonising aviation in the next few decades is sustainable aviation fuels, either from second generation biofuel or through synthetic fuels combining hydrogen and captured carbon.

"What we now need to do is accelerate the development of a sustainable aviation fuel sector - a sunrise industry that will create thousands of jobs but it’s one that is currently underfunded."

Damilola Ogunbiyi, UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Sustainable Energy for All: "People are saying ‘recover better, recover greener’ and if you can sell that story ... we will see a real shift. It would be a very missed opportunity if we do not take charge of what is currently going on in developing countries and only focus on the developed."


Other speakers featured in the podcast:

Dominic Waughray, Managing Director, World Economic Forum

Adair Turner, Chairman of the Energy Transitions Commission

Brian T Moynihan, Chairman and CEO of Bank of America

Nigel Topping, High-Level Climate Action Champion, for COP26

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Related topics:
Climate ActionIndustries in DepthFourth Industrial Revolution
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