European Climate Friendly Materials Platform

Overview

Basic materials, such as aluminium, cement and steel, are important inputs for the construction of infrastructure and buildings, as well as manufacturing of industrial products. Their primary production is, however, carbon intensive, and in Europe is responsible for the dominant share of industrial emissions, equivalent to 16% of overall greenhouse gas emissions.

A portfolio of “climate friendly” technologies, practices and options are required to contribute to the European Union’s deep decarbonisation objectives (such as the 80‐95% emission reduction target for 2050 or climate neutrality, as agreed in the Paris Agreement). The incremental improvement of existing production technologies, while important, will not be sufficient to reach these ambitious targets.

Therefore further innovation to improve the economics and viability of key technologies, and to identify new business models and innovative value propositions, is urgently needed. The objective of decarbonisation along supply and value chains has to be pursued in association with resource efficiency, industrial symbiosis and the circular economy. Simultaneously all relevant stakeholders have to be informed and engaged.

Objectives

This project will explore options for an effective policy framework to advance innovation and use of low‐carbon technology and material options. To achieve this, the project will:

  1. Develop a sufficient understanding of the requirements for innovation and large scale use of technologies, materials and practices within and across key materials sectors, building on the perspectives of all actors required for successful implementation. This involves assessing new business models, advanced technical (including cross‐sectoral) cooperation, and new value propositions;
  2. Explore and assess how barriers to low‐carbon transformation, better resource efficiency and innovation and large scale use of innovative solutions, can be tackled in particular with respect to: i) additional costs; ii) financing constraints; iii) identification of future market opportunities; iv) competitiveness particularly with imports; and v) any other sources of friction inhibiting sectoral transformation and the move to a circular economy
  3. Assess the national and European political discourses with a view to establishing a clear understanding of how the points above can be addressed.

Team

This collaborative, multi‐stakeholder project is convened jointly by Climate Strategies (CS) and the German Institute for Economic Research (DIW Berlin).

A strong research consortium has come together from a broad spectrum of European Universities and Institutes, including the Charles University Environmental Center (Czech Republic), ISI Fraunhofer (Germany), IVL Sweden, Radboud University (Netherlands), University of Nürnberg‐Erlangen (Germany), Vrije Universiteit Brussel and WiseEuropa (Poland).

The project builds on the 2016‐2017 DIW/CS work on “Policy
Design for a Climate‐Friendly Materials Sector

Events

The first workshop was held in Berlin in October 2017. Further information can be found on the event page.

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