Sweden and India are taking the lead to transform the heavy industry sector towards a fossil free future

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Heavy industry accounts for approximately 30 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions. In order to reach the goals in the Paris Agreement more must be done to tackle these emissions. It was in light of this that Sweden and India launched the leadership group for industry transition at the UN Climate Action Summit in New York this September. The group is open for both government and business leaders and aims to enable the transition of heavy industry towards net zero carbon emissions by 2050. Now it is time to go from words to action.

The leadership group for industry transition sets out to step up efforts to combat climate change within some of the hardest sectors: heavy industry and heavy-duty transports. By supporting governments and industries in low-carbon industry transformation, as well as establishing an arena for innovation-sharing and public-private collaboration, the leadership group will provide conditions for successful and enhanced implementation of the Paris Agreement.

“Substantially reducing emissions from heavy industry is crucial if we are to be able to attain the goals of the Paris Agreement” – Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven.

Contribution to climate action

Through demonstrating high-level political and private sector leadership the group aims to scale up industry transition both domestically and internationally. One important field of work will be to develop sector specific roadmaps towards net zero carbon emissions in order to provide a blueprint on how to transition. This builds on successful experience from Sweden, where 13 different sectors have developed such roadmaps through private-public partnership.

Furthermore, the Leadership Group will also boost technology innovation, a necessary element to promote low-carbon transition and follow a sustainable development pathway, especially in developing countries. Rapid technology innovation will be key in achieving the goals of the Paris Agreement. This will require both public and private collaborative research and development. Therefor the Leadership Group aims to create a platform where governments and industries can cooperate in accelerating global industry transition by enhancing, promoting and facilitating support for the development and commercialization of new technologies, based on the individual needs of different countries.

Group members

By working together, we can reach further. At the UN Climate Action Summit, the group was launched by Sweden and India, in collaboration with the World Economic Forum. Already now the group has 23 members, namely: Argentina, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, South Korea and the UK, as well as a group of companies including Dalmia Cement, DSM, Heathrow Airport, LKAB, Mahindra Group, Royal Schiphol Group, Scania, SpiceJet, SSAB, ThyssenKrupp, CarbFix and Vattenfall.

The members of the leadership group are actors who want to be on the frontlines of combating climate change. They all share the commitment to implement the Paris Agreement and the notion that all sectors must progress on low carbon pathways, while pursuing efforts to reach net-zero emission by 2050.

From words to action

Each year the group will convene a high-level meeting for its members to review results, exchange ideas and steer the direction of the group’s operations. The ambition is to have the first meeting of this sort in conjunction with COP25 in Chile. Before then, the members of the leadership group are in the process of establishing a working party that meets at regular intervals to develop and manage the group. The plan is to host the first meeting of this sort this November in Stockholm. The work is led by Sweden and India and supported by organizations such as the World Economic Forum, Stockholm Environment Institute, Indian Institute of Technologies, and Indian Institute of Management – Ahmedabad.  

Contact

For more information on the group and how to get involved please contact Ola Göransson at the Swedish Ministry of the Environment (ola.goransson@gov.se) or Robert Watt at the Stockholm Environment Institute (robert.watt@sei.org)

Government pledges

Governments joining the Leadership Group’ should demonstrate:

  • Commitment to pursue goals and provisions of Paris Agreement in line with its principles and provisions
  • Share the notion that all sectors of industry should progress on low carbon pathways and should pursue efforts to reach net-zero carbon emissions by mid-century
  • Provide policy frameworks and/or incentives that will support one or more key heavy industries or heavy transport sectors to reduce emissions in line with the Paris Agreement based on country priorities
  • Public-private engagement process to collaborate with industry actors to develop any additional innovation, policy measures or incentives needed to accelerate low-carbon industry transition
  • Collaborate internationally to promote technology innovation in low-carbon industry transition, including technology development and transfer, especially in developing countries
  • Consider reporting on progress at key milestones e.g. the UN COP25 and COP26 as per the agreed procedures

Industry pledges

Businesses joining the ‘Leadership Group’ should demonstrate:

  • Commitment to bold and ambitious emissions reductions in line with the Paris Agreement
  • Commitment to engaging with governments and peers across the value chain to support policy, innovation and technology measures that will deliver emissions reductions
  • Agreement to report on progress at key milestones e.g. COP25 and COP26 and the time leading up to global stocktake