COP25 Side Event

What about Stuff? Policy Frameworks to Decarbonize the Materials Industry

04 Dec 2019
IFEMA Madrid

Chaired by Julie-Anne Hogbin from Climate Strategies, the Climate Friendly Materials (CFM) Platform hosted an event in the Spanish Pavilion at COP25 to open up a new and novel dialogue on innovative policy instruments to transform the basic material sector to net climate neutrality. The event was opened by Pedro Linares from the Comillas Instituto de Investigación Tecnológic, who welcomed the audience and outlined the aims of the Climate Friendly Materials (CFM) Platform, which brings together leading research groups from across Europe to enhance analytical capacity on a coherent policy package to transform European heavy industry. Coordinating Lead Author of Chapter 4 in the IPCC Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5C, Heleen de Coninck, then outlined the science behind the 1.5 degree target. Her presentation reinforced the crucial importance of the basic material sector reaching net climate neutrality by 2050, in order to get on to an emission pathway that limits dangerous climate change to well below 2 degrees warming. Karsten Neuhoff from DIW Berlin then followed with a comprehensive presentation of the key insights from the recently published report - Building Blocks for a Climate Neutral European Industrial Sector – which examines policy solutions to transform the basic materials sectors to carbon neutrality by 2050.

Two key stakeholders were then invited to share their responses to the themes in the previous presentations. Cassandra Pillay, Climate Change Expert from UNIDO, shared her perspective on the role of international cooperation in industrial energy efficiency and decarbonisation, her comments approached the topic from a developing country contexts. Åsa Ekdahl, Head of Environment and Climate Change at World Steel Association then shared her insights into the role of policy in incentivising the low carbon transformation of the steel industry. This was followed by a robust and wide ranging conversation with the audience, which covered a range of topics, including the international context of European policies such as Boarder Carbon Adjustments, and the potential advantages of alternative instruments such at the inclusion of a Consumption Charge in the EUETS. Also discussed was the role of Life Cycle Assessment in the policy framework, how finance can be effective at delivering transformative innovation, the role of Green Public Procurement in creation of lead markets, the potential for the implementation of key product standards and the urgent need for large scale pilot demonstrator projects.

The audience included a wide range of stakeholders covering diverse perspectives, including industry (e.g. a representative from was present from ArcelorMittal), policy and international institutions, academia, small island states and youth representatives. The organisers were particularly pleased to achieve gender parity and representation from diverse ethnicities on the speaker panel.