Industrial Clusters Commit to World Economic Forum Net-Zero Initiative

Industrial facility near ocean and trees

(Credit: World Economic Forum)

by | Jan 15, 2024

This article is included in these additional categories:

Three industry leaders from China, France, and the United States have joined a network of 20 industrial clusters committed to reaching net zero through a World Economic Forum initiative.

The Transitioning Industrial Clusters initiative, established in 2021 at COP26, aims to support industrial clusters as they work towards net-zero emissions. The industrial sector accounts for about 30% of global emissions, and the group involved with the initiative alone represents the potential to reduce 626 million tons of carbon emissions.

According to the World Economic Forum, the signatory clusters also contribute $362 billion to gross domestic product and create or protect 3.4 million jobs.

New Signatories Represent a Variety of Industrial Sectors

The three new signatories of the initiative include the Tianjin Economic and Technological Development Area (TEDA), Dunkerque Industrial Cluster (DKarbonation), and Louisiana Future Energy Cluster (LFEC).

The TEDA, based in China, comprises multiple industries, including manufacturing, IT, and chemical materials. The cluster has introduced recycling projects for metals and industrial waste and is working to electrify its power needs. The new cluster from France, DKarbonation, covers port, steel, aluminum, and cement production, along with electric mobility, low-carbon hydrogen production, and more. LFEC, which maintains industrial petrochemical facilities and consumes about 30% of hydrogen produced in the U.S., aims to support Louisiana as it works to lead the clean energy transition in the country.

“As our initiative welcomes new clusters from China, France, and the U.S., we are excited to see growing interest from the public sector stakeholders both at the national as well as local level,” said Roberto Bocca, head of the energy, materials, and infrastructure center for the World Economic Forum. “The establishment of innovative private-public partnerships is key for the transformation of industrial regions, not only in terms of emissions reduction but also jobs retention and creation as well as economic development.”

Initiative Releases Progress Report, Emphasizes Need for Financing to Meet Net Zero

With the newly committed clusters, the World Economic Forum also released an annual report with a roadmap and progress report for decarbonizing the industrial sector. The report uses three signatories as examples to demonstrate how other clusters may engage in partnerships, policy, technology, and financing, highlighting financing as a particularly critical step to kick-start net-zero journeys.

The report notes that the main financing challenges faced by the industrial sector are not exclusively project bankability or innovative technology, but instead are rooted in confidence levels, governance frameworks, and “required shifts in business mindsets.”

The report suggests establishing trust within cluster partners and between public and private financiers. This may reportedly be achieved by customizing products and services, fostering collaboration between investors and government to provide access to grants and incentives, and investing in education to enhance skills and internal capabilities for the energy transition.

Additional articles you will be interested in.

Stay Informed

Get E+E Leader Articles delivered via Newsletter right to your inbox!

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
Share This