First Movers Coalition: 120 Commitments for Breakthrough Industrial Decarbonization Technologies

Published
16 Jan 2024
2024
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World Economic Forum, public.affairs@weforum.org

  • First Movers Coalition (FMC) reaches 96 members, with more than 120 commitments to purchase near-zero emission goods and services by 2030.
  • These commitments will represent an estimated annual demand of $16 billion by 2030 – the largest demand signal for emerging climate technologies ever created by the private sector.
  • To build on this unprecedented demand, FMC also announces new initiatives to identify the supply of breakthrough decarbonization technologies and to drive investment into industrial decarbonization efforts.
  • Discover more about the First Movers Coalition here. For more information on the Annual Meeting 2024, visit www.weforum.org. Share on social media using the hashtag #wef24.

Davos-Klosters, Switzerland, 16 January 2024 – The First Movers Coalition (FMC), a global public-private partnership by the World Economic Forum and the United States government working to decarbonize the world’s heavy-emitting sectors, now represents the world’s largest private sector demand signal for emerging climate technologies with more than 120 commitments from 96 members, the Forum announces today.

“The First Movers Coalition is proving the power of private sector cooperation to drive meaningful climate action,” says Børge Brende, President, World Economic Forum. “Together, FMC’s member companies are sending an unprecedented signal of demand, which will serve to drive up investment in and production of the critical emerging technologies needed to decarbonize the most heavy-emitting industrial sectors”.

Half of the emissions reductions needed by 2050 must come from technologies not yet available at scale, so creating demand for these technologies will be essential to kickstart the market and catalyse their commercial adoption. To support this, FMC members have collectively made commitments to purchase near-zero emission goods and services that use breakthrough climate technologies by 2030.

These commitments cover seven sectors: aluminium, aviation, carbon dioxide removal, cement and concrete, shipping, steel and trucking. By 2030, these commitments will represent an estimated annual demand of $16 billion for emerging climate technologies and 31 million tonnes (Mt) CO2e in annual emissions reductions.

“The First Movers Coalition is driving critical progress in the some of the hardest to address sectors,” said John Kerry, US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate. “As members participate in offtake agreements and invest in decarbonization projects in support of their FMC commitments, they continue to give confidence to this market to develop faster. This approach is pivotal in expanding the use and availability of the breakthrough technological solutions that will enable the deep decarbonization of heavy-emitting sectors.”

In just two years, members have also made significant progress on commitments, delivering direct investment in climate technologies and tangible offtakes. As of today, FMC members have been involved in 94 offtake agreements or investment projects to secure emerging climate technologies and near-zero emission goods and services from qualified suppliers.

The FMC also announced today several new initiatives focused on identifying the supply of breakthrough decarbonization technologies that will help its members to meet their commitments and to accelerate the pace of investment in industrial decarbonization efforts. These include:

Sustainable aviation challenge winners

The UpLink-FMC Sustainable Aviation Challenge, in collaboration with Salesforce, multiple industry partners and advisers such as Deloitte, will choose the 16 most innovative start-ups that are accelerating the decarbonization of the aviation industry. Selected from over 130 applicants, the winners champion innovative approaches to sustainable aviation fuel, battery-powered and hydrogen-powered flight.

“Air travel is crucial for global connectivity and economic growth, but its environmental impact cannot be ignored. This is why initiatives like the UpLink-First Movers Coalition Sustainable Aviation Challenge are paramount to accelerating climate action. We are proud to support these ecopreneurs who are at the forefront of pioneering innovative climate solutions,” said Suzanne DiBianca, Executive Vice-President and Chief Impact Officer of Salesforce.

“Decarbonizing aviation heavily relies on sustainable aviation fuel (SAF); however, the production process is extremely energy intensive,” added Astrid Poupart-Lafarge, President of Energies and Chemicals Segment at Schneider Electric. “We are proud to support emerging technology companies looking to address this challenge through innovation as part of the World Economic Forum’s UpLink challenge. We are ready to collaborate with these top innovators to use our industry-leading energy management and automation technology to enable the necessary design and operational efficiency required to achieve SAF manufacturing at scale.”

Near-zero steel 2030 challenge

The FMC, in collaboration with Greenhouse and supported by BCG, ResponsibleSteel and RMI, founded as Rocky Mountain Institute, is running a challenge to surface both the supply of and demand for near-zero emissions steel, as well as enabling technologies that could be leveraged to support supply. A total of 67 submissions were received by 10 January 2024 – seven submissions for the supply of near-zero steel and 45 submissions for potential enabling technologies.

The challenge also received 15 demand submissions representing an aggregated demand volume of 2.3M tonnes of near-zero steel purchase potential (including from FMC members Bharat Forge, Consolidated Contractors Company, EGUI, General Motors, Invenergy, Johnson Controls, Marcegaglia, Ørsted, ReNew, Vattenfall and the Volvo Group). The challenge is also complementary to RMI’s Sustainable Steel Buyers Platform, which will issue a Request for Proposal to secure low-emission steel offtake agreements in North America.

“Leading corporations have the power to send strong demand signals to initiate change in heavy industry, as showcased through First Movers Coalition and the Near Zero Steel Challenge. We are excited to help turn these commitments into offtake agreements through the Sustainable Steel Buyers Platform and our Request for Proposal to North American steelmakers,” said Jon Creyts, Chief Executive Officer of RMI. “By bringing committed buyers together, we can accelerate the investment case for first-of-a-kind, near-zero emissions steel plants and mobilize deep decarbonization of the sector.

New sustainable supplier database

The FMC launched the First Suppliers Hub, a global repository of innovative and emerging technologies and suppliers that are working to meet the FMC commitment thresholds across several key high-emissions sectors. The hub features more than 80 decarbonization efforts that are currently underway and is open to organizations to leverage as they make progress towards their decarbonization goals. It will continue to grow as more decarbonization efforts are identified that meet the FMC commitment thresholds.

“The First Suppliers Hub is a one-of-its-kind, pivotal tool that will accelerate climate action and tap into the immense potential of these emerging technologies that are a crucial component of reaching global decarbonization targets by 2050,” said Jennifer Steinmann, Deloitte Global Sustainability and Climate Practice Leader. “We are proud to be a technical adviser for the creation of the First Suppliers Hub, which will be an invaluable resource to organizations as they move from commitments to action.”

New sustainable procurement guide

The FMC Cement and Concrete Procurement Guide covers which product category rules (PCRs) should be used as a starting point in order to develop environmental product declarations and reach FMC thresholds. It also provides some clarity on key issues for procurement teams such as how to incorporate carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS) in carbon accounting.

About the First Movers Coalition

The First Movers Coalition seeks to harness the purchasing power of leading global companies to unlock the potential of the emerging technologies needed to decarbonize the world by 2050. The coalition is marshalling leading companies to apply their purchasing power to create guaranteed early markets for advanced technologies to scale up the next generation of net-zero solutions for carbon-intensive sectors.

About the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2024

The World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2024, taking place on 15-19 January in Davos-Klosters, Switzerland, convenes the world’s foremost leaders under the theme “Rebuilding Trust.” For further information, click here.

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