The World Economic Forum (WEF) and US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry have announced at COP27, the expansion of the First Movers Coalition (FMC) to commit US$12 billion in 2030 purchase commitments for green technologies to decarbonize the cement and concrete industry and other hard-to-abate sectors.
Announced on November 8, 2022, at COP 27 in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, ten new companies join the First Movers Coalition (FMC), which aims to decarbonize the heavy industry and long-distance transport sectors responsible for 30 percent of global emissions.
The cement and concrete industry is the latest sector to be added to the FMC, in addition to the work currently being done on steel, aluminum, aviation, shipping, trucking, and advanced carbon dioxide (CO2) removal solutions.
Cement is the second most consumed product globally after potable water, and the demand signal that top companies have set today for near-zero concrete will drive critical investment in next-generation technologies, said John Kerry, US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate.
The latest expansion of the FMC – made up of 65 companies with a collective market value of approximately US$8 trillion – focuses on cleaning up one of the world’s most carbon-intensive industry sectors through purchasing commitments to low-carbon technology.
From construction and engineering to real estate and developers, newly announced First Mover companies have committed to purchasing at least 10 percent near-zero cement and concrete per year by 2030.
I am also delighted with the increased commitments we have announced across our existing long-distance transport, heavy industry, and carbon removal sectors. This unprecedented US$12 billion dollar demand signal will bring competitive technologies to market this decade that are needed to decarbonize so-called ‘hard-to-abate’ sectors of the global economy, John Kerry said.
Kerry announced the expansion of the FMC alongside Brad Smith, President, and Vice-Chair of Microsoft, Mads Nipper, CEO of Ørsted, and Fernando González, CEO of CEMEX.
First Movers Coalition companies are paving the way for the decarbonization of our industries through disruptive innovations across seven of the hardest-to-abate sectors. The cement and concrete sector is the latest addition to this effort, creating the early markets needed to scale innovative green technologies. We are thrilled to see government partners join in this effort to ensure a net-zero transition that is truly global, said Børge Brende, President of the World Economic Forum.
Founding coalition members of the cement and concrete sector are General Motors, Vattenfall, ETEX, Ørsted, and RMZ Corporation.
Vattenfall’s goal is to enable fossil-free living within one generation. We can only reach the 1.5ºC target if we jumpstart the market for disruptive near-zero or zero-carbon technologies and make them as competitive as existing carbon-intensive solutions. Seven sectors today emit a third of global emissions. I am happy that Vattenfall now can increase the ambition also when it comes to the use of concrete and cement, in addition to the sectors steel, aviation, and trucking where we already have committed, said Anna Borg, President, and CEO of Vattenfall.
Around 80 percent of Vattenfall’s CO2 emissions from purchases of goods and services come from materials, such as steel, concrete, aluminum, and copper, and the FMC commitment, therefore, is one important way to reach the company’s climate targets.
It is also in line with Vattenfall’s already existing target of halving its emissions from purchased goods and services by 2030.
The hardest-to-abate sectors can go carbon-free by 2050 at a cost of less than 1 percent of global GDP if it is possible to make clean technologies affordable across their supply chains. Vattenfall is already working on initiatives to reduce emissions from the use of concrete and other materials. To do that we aim at creating fossil-free value chains, all the way from extracting the raw material, the use of energy during manufacturing until a ready product is available, and later recycled or reused at end of life. This commitment fits well with our strategy, said Annika Ramsköld, VP of Sustainability at Vattenfall.
The recently joined FMC members are Autodesk (aviation), Bang & Olufsen (aluminum), Constellium (aluminum), Emirates Global Aluminium (carbon removal technologies), ETEX (cement and concrete), General Motors (cement and concrete), Hoegh Autoliners (shipping), PepsiCo (aluminum, trucking), Rio Tinto (aviation, shipping, and trucking) and RMZ Corp (cement and concrete).
General Motors is proud to confirm our intention to join the First Movers Coalition through a concrete commitment to signal a firm market demand for a net-zero transition. GM is actively pursuing the vision of a world with zero crashes, zero emissions, and zero congestion. We believe there is an economic opportunity and a social imperative in reducing carbon emissions, said Mary T. Barra, Chair and CEO of General Motors.
According to experts, the critical climate target of 1.5ºC can only be reached if new decarbonizing technologies are quickly developed. Demand signals today for innovative green technologies by 2030 will ensure that innovative green solutions are invested in and scaled in this decade.