Climate Friendly Materials (CFM) Platform


Basic materials, such as aluminium, cement and steel, are central to our economies, but their production accounts for around 16% of European and 25% of global greenhouse gas emissions. It is therefore difficult to envisage how Europe can reach the commitments under the Paris Climate Agreement without significant emission reductions from the materials sector.

While some incremental improvements of existing production technologies have been achieved in sectors such as steel and cement, they amount to only modest reductions. The large, and necessary, mitigation potentials linked to break-through process technologies, new materials, more efficient material use and recycling remain largely untapped.

Transformation of the basic materials sectors to carbon neutrality will therefore require a robust policy framework that set sufficient incentives by improving the economics and viability of key “climate friendly” technologies, materials and practices. Decarbonisation along supply and value chains has to be pursued in association with resource efficiency, industrial symbiosis and the circular economy. Also, transformation should be inclusive, enabling all countries to benefit from the capital intensive investments required for this shift.

Achieving this goals require a shared vision of feasible development pathways, which build on the perspectives of all actors required for successful implementation.

Since the end of 2016 the Climate Friendly Materials Platform brings together policy makers, industry representatives, practitioners in industrial decarbonisation and applied researchers for the development of a shared understanding of tangible policy options and eventually common policy action at the national and EU level to the overall goal of successfully decarbonise the European basic materials sector.


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 shared vision and framework to think about policy needs for net-carbon neutrality in materials sector.;
2. Advance analysis on individual policy instruments and governance framework for their implementation.
3. Support converging of preference for European based policy instruments in discussions within EU member states and at Brussels level to contribute to common basis for policy implementation
4. Capacity building and developing of common knowledge base on the policy options for delivering material sector decarbonisation 

Key reports



This collaborative, multi‐stakeholder platform is convened by Climate Strategies and brings together from a broad spectrum of European Universities and Institutes: DIW Berlin (Germany), IDDRI (France), IIT-Comillas (Spain), IVL (Sweden), Radboud University Nijmegen (Netherlands), REKK (Hungary), Vrije Universiteit Brussels (Belgium) and WiseEuropa (Poland) .


Details on events can be found on the project website of partner DIW Berlin. 

  • “Policy Design for Greening Construction Supply Chains” – Stockholm, May 2019
  • “Inclusive transformation of the European Materials Sector” – Berlin, March 2019
  • “Trade and Climate Policy in 2018 and beyond. How to get the incentives right” – Berlin, November 2018
  • Policy Packages for Low Carbon Roadmaps in the Materials Sector” – Berlin, March 2018.
  • UNFCCC SB’s Side Event “Policy Solutions for a Climate-Friendly Materials Sector – Bonn, November 2017
  • “Policies to stimulate climate-friendly innovation in the materials sector”- Berlin, October 2017.
  • “2nd Workshop on Policy Design for a Climate-Friendly Materials Sectors” – Berlin, January 2017
  • “1st Workshop on Policy Design for a Climate-Friendly Materials Sectors” – Brussels, September 2016


The Climate Friendly Materials Platform builds on continuously work since 2013 to develop an effective policy framework to decarbonise the basic materials sector.
Activities under the Platform (outlined below) have received funding support from the governments of the Netherlands, Germany, France and the United Kingdom, from Heidelberg Cement, Tata Steel Europe, ArcelorMittal, Formas Commons, the Mistra Indigo programme, Germany’s European Climate Initiative (EUKI) and the European Climate Foundation.

Climate-Friendly Materials Platform: Supporting the Transition in Central and Southern Europe

Project Duration: 2018– 2019

The Platform aims to contribute to a shared understanding of tangible policy options and eventually, common policy action at national and EU level, an effective exchange of experience to be fed into the different national decision-making processes and the effective provision of relevant research as a basis for successful implementation, industrial innovation and evidence-based investment decisions. While, so far, the focus of the Platform has mainly been on North-Western Europe, this project aims to support the position of Southern and Central-Eastern European countries and open the space for inclusive transformation, where all countries can benefit from the capital intensive investments required for this shift.



  • Inclusive transformation of the European Materials Sector (EU roundtable) – Berlin, March 2019
  • Climate Friendly Materials Platform: Supporting transition in Central and Southern Europe (Spanish roundtable) – Madrid, January 2019
  • Climate Friendly Materials Platform: Supporting transition in Central and Southern Europe (Hungarian roundtable) – Budapest, December 2018
  • Climate Friendly Materials Platform: How to develop low-emission heavy industry in Poland and Europe? (Polish rountable) – Warsaw, November 2018

Policy Design for a Climate‐Friendly Materials Sector

Project Duration: 2017 – 2018

Project to address the broad question of: what policies are necessary for the materials sector to successfully innovate and subsequently adopt new low-carbon technologies? The project brought together researchers from different disciplines, as well as participants from industry.



Inclusion of Consumption in Emissions Trading

Project Duration: 2015 – 2016

The project explored whether inclusion of domestic sales of selected energy intensive commodities (e.g. steel) in domestic emission trading schemes is an effective and feasible approach towards restoring the carbon price signal in these sectors, without damaging competitiveness.


Carbon Control Post 2020 in Energy Intensive Industries

Project Duration: 2013 – 2014

The project provided objective, evidence-based research on the past and current effectiveness of the EU ETS for Energy Intensive Industries. Assess proposals for improvement of the EU ETS and contributed to improved mutual understanding of different stakeholder group.