There is a large gap between the 2015 Paris Agreement goal of global temperature increase of 1,5° C above pre-industrial levels by 2100 and what governments around the world have pledged as well as current policies. In its 2018 report comparison between global warming of 1.5°C and 2°C above pre-industrial levels, IPCC has shown that the impact will be severe via the five integrative reasons for concern (RFCs). An optimistic (perhaps the word ‘disheartening’ is more suitable) forecast shows that we rather will reach 2,1° C in 2100 (shown by among others climatetracker.org). Hence, we cannot rely on policy makers and politicians to save the planet from the impending slow cooking of our planet. Data from International Energy Agency have shown that industry’s share of global CO2-emissions account for 6 158 Mt, or 18% global emissions (the largest emission sources being electricity and heat generation).
Hence, industry has a vital role to reach the Paris Agreement goal – we need industrial solutions to take on the climate challenge! A large problem needs a large solution. If we scale down this to national Swedish level, the situation is even clearer. In Sweden, industry emissions account for almost 1/3 of total emissions with 16,1 Mt CO2 (the other large emitter is the transport industry also accounting for 1/3). Additionally, since the electricity and heating industry in Sweden is significantly less fossil compared to the rest of the world, it is no surprise that out of the ten largest emitters of CO2, seven are large electricity intensive industrial plants in the steel or paper sectors. Hence, the pareto approach reveals that we need to focus on industry (and especially our base industry) to be able give significant contributions to meet the Paris Agreement goal.Read more
To limit global warming to 1.5°C with no or limited overshoot will require rapid and far-reaching transitions in energy, land, urban and infrastructure development, and, in our focus area, industrial systems. According to IPCC, these systems transitions are unprecedented in terms of scale, but not necessarily in terms of speed, and imply deep emissions reductions in all sectors, a wide portfolio of mitigation options and a significant upscaling of investments in those options. Our focus is to assist industry to take these necessary steps.
The necessary CO2 emissions from industry to limit global warming to 1.5°C with no or limited overshoot are projected to be about 65–90% lower in 2050 relative to 2010. Such reductions can be achieved through combinations of new and existing technologies and practices, including electrification, hydrogen, sustainable bio-based feedstocks, product substitution, and carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS). These options are technically proven at various scales, but their large-scale deployment may be limited by economic, financial, human capacity and institutional constraints in specific contexts, and specific characteristics of large-scale industrial installations. The WA3RM Regenergy and waste-to-x concepts aim to overcome these hurdles. Furthermore, IPCC states that in industry, emissions reductions by energy and process efficiency by themselves are insufficient for limiting warming to 1.5°C with no or limited overshoot. Hence, to address these challenges, external solutions are necessary.