Basic materials, such as aluminium, cement and steel, are central to our economies, but their production accounts for around 16% of European and 25% of global greenhouse gas emissions. It is therefore difficult to envisage how Europe can reach the commitments under the Paris Climate Agreement without significant emission reductions from the materials sector.
While some incremental improvements of existing production technologies have been achieved in sectors such as steel and cement, they amount to only modest reductions. The large, and necessary, mitigation potentials linked to break-through process technologies, new materials, more efficient material use and recycling remain largely untapped.
Transformation of the basic materials sectors to carbon neutrality will therefore require a robust policy framework that set sufficient incentives by improving the economics and viability of key “climate friendly” technologies, materials and practices. Decarbonisation along supply and value chains has to be pursued in association with resource efficiency, industrial symbiosis and the circular economy. Also, transformation should be inclusive, enabling all countries to benefit from the capital intensive investments required for this shift.
Achieving this goals require a shared vision of feasible development pathways, which build on the perspectives of all actors required for successful implementation.
Since the end of 2016 the Climate Friendly Materials Platform brings together policy makers, industry representatives, practitioners in industrial decarbonisation and applied researchers for the development of a shared understanding of tangible policy options and eventually common policy action at the national and EU level to the overall goal of successfully decarbonise the European basic materials sector.
This project will explore options for an effective policy framework to advance innovation and use of low‐carbon technology and material options. To achieve this, the project will:
1. Develop a shared vision and framework to think about policy needs for net-carbon neutrality in materials sector
2. Advance analysis on individual policy instruments and governance framework for their implementation
3. Support converging of preference for European based policy instruments in discussions within EU member states and at Brussels level to contribute to common basis for policy implementation
4. Capacity building and developing of common knowledge base on the policy options for delivering material sector decarbonisation
Round-table workshops take place at DIW Berlin or at various international institutions to which Platform's research members are affiliated depending on specific collaborations, funding sources and focus on specific relevant topics.
The Platform continues and extends some research and policy activities started in a previous DIW project "Inclusion of Consumption in Emissions Trading". See project details and workshop webpages here
You could also find more information on the website of Climate Strategies here
The Climate Friendly Materials Platform acknowledges support from MISTRA, ECF, EUKI-BMU, Leeds University, HeidelbergCement and Climate Strategies for the organization of roundtables.
New report published: Investments in Climate Friendly Materials to Strengthen the Recovery Package
Supporting investments in climate friendly production and recycling of materials as part of the European and national Covid-19 recovery packages can both achieve the short term objective of effective recovery spending for boosting the economy and creating jobs as well as deliver climate and long-term economic benefits. In order to realize the full economic and climate benefits of investment support, a rapid implementation of the policy package envisaged in the European Green Deal is required.
More details please find here
Report, October 2019: Building blocks for a climate-neutral European industrial sector
The science is clear: global warming must be limited to 1.5 degrees Celsius to avoid catastrophic impacts. The Paris Agreement recognises the 1.5C-limit as well. The production of basic materials –cement, iron and steel, paper, aluminium, as well as chemicals and petrochemicals – is one of the main contributors to climate change, accounting for approximately 25% of global CO2 emissions, and around 16% of EU GHG emissions.
More details please find here
Karsten Neuhoff, Olga Chiappinelli, Timo Gerres, Manuel Haussner, Roland Ismer, Nils May, Alice Pirlot, Jörn Richstein. Building Blocks for a Climate-Neutral European Industrial Sector. Policies to Create Markets for Climate-Friendly Materials to Boost EU Global Competitiveness and Jobs. (PDF, 1.13 MB) Climate Strategies Report, October 2019
Susanne Dröge, Karsten Neuhoff, Christian Egenhofer, Milan Elkerbout. How EU Trade Policy Can Enhance Climate Action: Options to Boost Low-Carbon Investment and Address Carbon Leakage. Brüssel: CEPS, 2019. Monographien/ Sammelwerke extern , 11 S.
Olga Chiappinelli, Mária Bartek-Lesi, Małgorzata Błocka, José Pablo Chaves Ávila, Balázs Felsmann, Timo Gerres, Pedro Linares, Karsten Neuhoff, Aleksander Śniegocki, Gabriella Szajkó, Zofia Wetmańska. Inclusive Transformation of the European Materials Sector: Report for the EUKI 2018 Project "Climate Friendly Materials Platform: Supporting Transition in Central and Southern Europe". Berlin: EUKI, 2019. Diskussionspapiere extern, 28 S.
Karsten Neuhoff, Olga Chiappinelli. Klimafreundliche Herstellung und Nutzung von Grundstoffen: Bündel von Politikmaßnahmen notwendig. DIW Wochenbericht 26/18. S. 575-583
Karsten Neuhoff, Olga Chiappinelli, Chris Bataille, Manuel Haußner, Roland Ismer, Eugénie Joltreau, Ingmar Jürgens, Carlotta Piantieri, Jörn Richstein, Oliver Sartor, Puja Singhal, Jan Stede. Filling Gaps in the Policy Package to Decarbonise Production and Use of Materials. Climate Strategies report. Neuhoff, K. June 2018
Karsten Neuhoff, Olga Chiappinelli, Richard Baron, John Barrett, Maciej Bukowski, Vicki Duscha, Tobias Fleiter, Manuel Haussner, Roland Ismer, Robert Kok, Gregory F. Nemet, Hector Pollitt, Jörn Richstein, Tatiana Vakhitova, Tomas Wyns, Lars Zetterberg. Innovation and use policies required to realize investment and emission reductions in the materials sector. Climate Strategies report. Initial findings. January 2017
This collaborative, multi‐stakeholder platform is convened by Climate Strategies and brings together from a broad spectrum of European Universities and Institutes: DIW Berlin (Germany), IDDRI (France), IIT-Comillas (Spain), IVL (Sweden), Radboud University Nijmegen (Netherlands), REKK (Hungary), Vrije Universiteit Brussels (Belgium) and WiseEuropa (Poland).