18 October, 2017

Manufacturing a low-carbon society: how can we reduce emissions from cement and steel?


Sebastain Sterl, Jing Zhang, Markus Hagemann, Lindee Wong, Tom Berg, Yvonne Deng, Jereon de Beer, Kornelis Blok, Andrzej Ancygier, Jasmin Cantzler, Ursula Fuentes, Matt Beer

The decarbonisation of heavy industry is key to achieving deep cuts in emissions in line with the Paris Agreement’s long-term temperature goal.

Reducing these industrial emissions is challenging, as heavy industry emissions are often intrinsically linked to the production process.

Improvements in efficiency and decarbonisation of the energy supply can lead to emissions reductions. Their combined potential for both steel and cement is estimated to be around a 30%–50% reduction below current trends by 2050.

To further decarbonise heavy industry sectors, a shift to innovative low-carbon technologies, product substitutions, circular production routes, and possible industrial scale deployment of CCS will be needed. Targeted RD&D efforts are necessary to accelerate the availability of these options.