Industry working towards the Paris Agreement
The ‘Innovation in Industrial Carbon Capture Conference 2020', developed by the LEILAC project, was held in January 2020, which brought together nearly 200 attendees.
Policy makers, civil society, financiers and industry were invited to discuss the challenges facing the global community, and the role of the cement and lime industries. These sectors were requested to focus on the steps that they are taking and invited to indicate how they can collaborate with one another to bring about the challenges in working toward the Paris Agreement. Stressing this, the keynote by Phil Hodgson, CEO of Calix, discussed the recent World Economic Forum’s Global Risks Report, noting that ‘climate’ tops the global long-term risk agenda.
Hans Bergman, Head Unit ETS Policy Development at the Directorate-General for Climate Action (which leads the European Commission's efforts to fight climate change at EU and international level) provided an overview of the key EU policies and instruments that have been put in place, and the comprehensive framework that is being established to implementing its 2050 roadmap for climate neutrality. The EU ETS is one of the key mechanisms, and which will continue to be protected and supported. It is possible that the Green Deal will result in an increase in the ETS’ ambition, extensions in its scope, and may be modified in relation to further enabling CCS.
The EU Green Deal was discussed, and carbon capture and storage (CCS) was clearly and repeatedly viewed it as the only means of addressing unavoidable emissions – with a “European strategic long term vision for a prosperous, modern, competitive and climate neutral economy.”
Ernest Jelito, Board Member of HeidelbergCement, provided a context for industrial action, and why such socio-political objectives were difficult to achieve – it is because the majority of the cement sector’s CO2 emissions are unavoidable, caused by the heating of limestone. With decades of efforts being made by the industry to reduce heating emissions, CCS is seen as key in enabling HeidelbergCement to fulfil its 2050 goal of carbon neutrality by addressing process emission – with several projects being actively supported. “We want to collaborate with politics, NGOs, societal organizations and other industries in order to achieve carbon neutral society in Europe by 2050.”
Pete Harrison, Executive Director of the European Climate Foundation, noted that without a comprehensive transformation of industrial production, the climate protection goals of the Paris Agreement cannot be achieved. He noted “84% of emissions are ‘hard to abate’ or process emissions” and that all pathways for decarbonising needed CCS. Contributing to the public debate on climate action, and drive for urgent steps, the impact on jobs and competitiveness was a critical component – one that Europe had the opportunity to lead in.
In a panel, moderated by Aymeric Olibet of BNP Paribas, there was a discussion on different actions that may enable accelerated deployment of carbon capture to decarbonisation the cement and lime industries. Ideas included the use of public procurement contracts requiring the use of low-carbon cement; potential use of contracts for difference for manufacture; and the need for a dramatic increase in public support and leadership for the “development of CO2 transport and storage infrastructure”.
Eleni Despotou, Secretary General of EuLA, noted that industry - with a combination of CCS, electrification, alternative fuels, and re-carbonation - has the unique opportunity to support global climate change ambitions by having “carbon negative” production: by extracting CO2 from the atmosphere.
Pete Harrison, Executive Director EU Policy for the European Climate Foundation described Calix as the 'Tesla' of industrial carbon capture, who said that, “…there is a genuine competitive opportunity for those bold enough to grasp it.”