M-RCBG Associate Working Paper No. 224

Decarbonise Now: Securing A Greener, Cleaner, Better Industrial Future
The Industrial Mission Zero Network Report

Rt Hon Chris Skidmore OBE
Grace Girling


If we do not succeed in decarbonising our industries, net zero will not succeed. Industry, which includes ores and minerals mining, manufacturing, construction and waste management, accounted for approximately 24% of total net anthropogenic GHG emissions in 2019, this total can be increased up to around 34% if emissions from electricity and heat production are attributed to their use in the sector. A key message from the IPCC’s 2022 report on the mitigation of climate change stated:

“Net zero CO2 emissions from the industrial sector are challenging but possible. Reducing industry emissions will entail coordinated action throughout value chains to promote all mitigation options, including demand management, energy and materials efficiency, circular material flows, as well as abatement technologies and transformational changes in production processes. Progressing towards net zero GHG emissions from industry will be enabled by the adoption of new production processes using low- and zero-GHG electricity, hydrogen, fuels, and carbon management.”

Further, industrial clusters account for 15%- 20% of global CO2 emissions. Therefore, it is evident that governments need to develop robust industrial decarbonisation strategies and accelerate the speed of implementation. This report follows the Independent Net Zero Review, focusing on the Energy Intensives and Industry Mission.

The Independent Net Zero Review was one of the largest engagement exercises on net zero ever conducted. As part of the review process, its chair Chris Skidmore held 52 evidence roundtables, speaking directly to nearly a thousand businesses and organizations. These demonstrated the importance of a stable policy environment for business, especially industry that requires long term certainty of decision making.

The 2022 Non-domestic National Energy Efficiency Data-Framework (ND-NEED) found that in England and Wales the highest 6% of electricity consumers are responsible for 80% of electricity consumption, while the highest 4% of gas consumers are responsible for 80% of gas consumption. As such, industrial decarbonisation is a crucial area for the UK government to focus on if they are to reach their Net Zero by 2050 target. However, current measures need to go further and new, innovative, methods to accelerate decarbonisation must emerge. The Coalition convened experts from different areas of industry, including CCUS, hydrogen, renewable energy and software providers to discuss the current pathway to decarbonisation set out by the government, its gaps and potential solutions moving forward. The report will also look wider to the international landscape for examples of best practice, forward-thinking policies and to provide recommendations for a globally decarbonised industrial sector.

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