Current Net Zero strategies in the materials production sectors are insufficient to meet climate target

VOICE has been working hard to link consumption with growing emissions.

A new report by Zero Waste Europe (ZWE) and Eunomia Research & Consulting makes clear the precarious position we find ourselves in and states that urgent action is required to reduce material use in key industries to avoid 'unprecedented climate change'.

"Failure to act soon could mean exhausting the remaining carbon budget, the maximum amount of CO2 that can be released and still limit global warming to 1.5°C, by as early as 2028."

We can no longer justify a business-as-usual approach to materials production. It is now widely acknowledged that material production causes over half of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from industry. Material efficiency and circular economies are two very important strategies that will reduce emissions and make sure we are all living within our planetary boundaries.

More key findings of the report ‘Is Net Zero Enough for the Materials Sector?’

  • Significant capital investment is needed to achieve electricity decarbonisation in the aluminium sector.
  • The cement and concrete sectors rely heavily on unproven technologies to reduce CO2emissions.
  • Retrofitting existing systems in the iron and steel sectors with best available efficiency technologies provides the greatest emissions reduction and could be implemented immediately.
  • Remaining within their carbon budget will be a significant challenge for the plastics industry as a drastic shift away from fossil fuels to bio-based materials is needed.


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Photo by Alexander Hafemann on Unsplash