Cement production is hugely carbon intensive | Credit: Cement plant Gorazdze, Poland
Initiative launched by a clutch of sustainable business NGOs aims to galvanise global climate action by nurturing and supporting net zero collaboration across world’s most carbon-intensive sectors, including steel, chemicals, shipping
Hundreds of businesses around the world have joined forces on a new initiative geared at accelerating the decarbonisation of carbon-intensive sectors, from aviation, cement and steel, to aluminium, chemicals, trucking, and shipping, which are collectively responsible for almost a third of global emissions.
The Mission Possible Partnership, launched this morning at the Davos Summit, aims to mobilise industry players behind sector-specific decarbonisation pathways, a move it claims is critical if increasingly stringent national climate targets being set by governments are to be met.
The partnership, which is being run by the Energy Transitions Commission, the Rocky Mountain Institute, the We Mean Business coalition and the World Economic Forum, brings together more than 400 companies working in transport and heavy industry.
Paul Bodnar, managing director of the Rocky Mountain Institute, emphasised that meeting global climate goals would require industrial actors to emulate nation states and work closely together on measures that could accelerate decarbonisation.
“The Paris Agreement was a leap forward in organizing the work of nations on climate but hitting 1.5C also requires a strategy that speaks the language of global industries, which transcend borders in their supply chains, markets, and investors,” he said. “With a focus on the seven sectors that account for 30 per cent of global emissions, the Mission Possible Partnership has developed an approach to help entire industrial ecosystems define and organise their journey to net zero emissions.”
By unifying critical industrial players behind the net zero agenda, the Mission Possible Partnership said it hopes to usher in “clear shifts in investment patterns” across its seven target sectors within five years, in addition to securing “climate action agreements” from each within three years.
In the shorter term, the group said it is aiming to “showcase net zero agreement breakthroughs” by the end of this year in shipping, aviation and steel, explaining that it had defined breakthroughs as “near-term tipping points for each sector of the global economy in the race to net zero”.
COP26 President Alok Sharma and US Special Envoy for Climate John Kerry will announce at the Davos Agenda summit this week that the Mission Possible Partnership will be the official delivery mechanism for announcing ‘breakthroughs’ in hard-to-abate sectors signed up to the UN’s Race to Zero Campaign.
Nigel Topping, UK high-level champion for the COP26 Climate Summit, emphasised that that “radical collaboration” would be needed to transition the economy towards a net zero emission future.
“As we move into the decade of delivery, we must not only grow the number of actors committed to a resilient, zero carbon future, we must foster the radical collaboration needed to drive transformational change in every sector of the economy,” he said.
The Coalition brings together several pre-existing industry-led decarbonisation coalitions already working to accelerate the net zero transition, its founders explained, including the more than 150 shipping firms that make up the Getting to Zero Coalition, the 80 companies in the Clean Skies for Tomorrow group, the 40 firms signed up to the Road Freight Zero Coalition, and the 12 companies in the Net Zero Steel Initiative.
The partnership, which builds on the success of the Mission Possible Platform launched in 2019 at the UN Climate Action Summit, has secured initial funding from the Bezos Earth Fund, Bloomberg Philanthropies, and Breakthrough Energy, and will also draw on expertise from the International Energy Agency, one of the initiative’s strategic partners.