Filling gaps in the policy package to decarbonise production and use of materials

The time has come to get serious about decarbonising the emission-intensive materials sector. The production of basic materials (cement, iron and steel, paper and board, aluminium and chemicals and petrochemicals) accounted for around 25% of global CO2 emissions in 2014 (Figure 1). As non-OECD countries are developing infrastructure and housing in line with their economic growth, their demand for basic materials is particularly high. This demand accounted for around 80% of carbon intensive materials (by weight) contributing to about 75% of the global emissions from basic materials production. While a portfolio of mitigation options exists to decarbonise the materials sector, progress in their realisation has been rather modest, mainly due to two reasons. However, some of these past barriers to progress may be shifting. This report explores what could be a suitable policy package to allow the private sector to pursue this journey and to align the political support of constituencies interested in individual mitigation options.