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.
Report from April 2021: Carbon Contracts for Difference. An assessment of selected socio-economic impacts for Germany
This report offers insights to support key German stakeholders on the implementation of an innovative and promising policy instrument for the decarbonization of the basic materials sectors: project-based Carbon Contracts for Difference (CCfDs).
It analyses selected socio-economic impacts of introducing this policy instrument in Germany. The reports accounts for the perspective of all relevant groups of stakeholders who emerged in the two project workshops and in other engagement activities during the project.
The analysis is structured in two parts. First, an assessment of design options and scale of funding for CCfDs based on case studies for specific materials industries in Germany. Second, a discussion on award mechanisms for CCfDs and potential to combine CCfDs with other instruments, such as the Innovation Fund.
Read the report here.
Policy Brief from December 2020 was published:
Last year, the Climate Friendly Materials Platform proposed an innovative policy framework to support the decarbonisation of the basic materials sector in the EU. A new policy brief from the platform focuses on one major component of this package: introducing the climate contribution to compliment the free allocation in the EU Emissions Trading System.
The brief clarifies the concept and explains why it is a viable option to meet the policy objectives of Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism in a way that has major advantages compared to alternative instruments focusing on border measures. Read the full brief here, and attached, written by Aleksander Sneigocki and Kryzsztof Brzeziñski from Wise Europa.
You can also read a summary on the Climate Contributions Policy brief Climate Contribution: a smart policy solution for decarbonising material production and use in the EU here.
Policy briefs from the Climate Friendly Materials Platform have been published.
The first one, titled "A Climate-Neutral Industry: Status of policy debate in European Member States" and written by Mária Bartek-Lesi, Gábor Horváth and Balázs Felsmann from the Regional Centre for Energy Policy Research (REKK Alapítvány), provides a much-needed overview of the current policy landscape in five EU Member States (Germany, Hungary, the Netherlands, Poland, Spain) by investigating how the path to climate-neutral industrial production is reflected in their key national plans. By highlighting the different policies and measures in place, it provides recommendations on translating carbon-neutral objectives into national policy frameworks. Clear policy strategies are essential to guide corporate decision making and effective policy to achieve decarbonisation of European industry. Read the brief here.
The second brief, titled "Carbon Contracts for Differences: their role in European industrial decarbonisation" and authored by Timo Gerres and Pedro Linares from IIT-Comillas, provides an assessment of Carbon Contracts for Differences (CCFD), one of the elements of the policy package developed by the Climate Friendly Materials Platform in order to help decarbonise European’s industry while preserving its competitiveness. CCfDs are a powerful tool for helping European industry transformation during the first stages of the transition period towards a low emission economy, and the current discussion about a green recovery provides a great opportunity for their quick implementation. Read the policy brief here.
Report, June 2020: 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
Jörn C. Richstein, Mats Kröger, Karsten Neuhoff, Olga Chiappinelli, Frederik Lettow. Carbon Contracts for Difference. An assessment of selected socio-economic impacts for Germany (PDF, 0.89 MB). April 2021
Roos van der Reijden, Heleen de Coninck, Gauri Khandekar, Tomas Wyns. Transforming industrial clusters to implement the European Green Deal. (PDF, 1.29 MB) January 2021
Kryzsztof Brzeziñski, Aleksander Sneigocki. Climate Contribution and its role in European industrial decarbonisation (PDF, 0.93 MB). Policy Brief, December 2020
Mária Bartek-Lesi, Gábor Horváth, Balázs Felsmann. A Climate-Neutral Industry: Status of policy debate in European Member States. (PDF, 1.65 MB)Policy Brief, November 2020
Timo Gerres, Pedro Linares. Carbon Contracts for Differences: their role in European industrial decarbonisation (PDF, 1.61 MB). Policy Brief. November 2020
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).