Sweden and India are taking the lead towards a fossil-free future

Published 27 November 2019 in:

Photo Sofia Sabel/imagebank.sweden.se

Heavy industry accounts for approximately 30 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions. In order to reach the goals in the Paris Agreement, more must be done to tackle these emissions. It was in light of this that Sweden and India launched the Leadership Group for Industry Transition at the UN Climate Action Summit. The group is open for both government representatives and business leaders and aims to enable the transition of heavy industry towards net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

Since the launching of the initiative, there has been a continuous flow of new members, representing both government and business. Argentina, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, South Korea and the United Kingdom were all quick to join, as well as a group of companies including Dalmia Cement, DSM, Heathrow Airport, LKAB, Mahindra Group, Royal Schiphol Group, Scania, SpiceJet, SSAB, ThyssenKrupp, CarbFix and Vattenfall. The members of the Leadership Group are actors who want to be on the frontline of combating climate change. They all share a commitment to implementing the Paris Agreement and the notion that all sectors must make progress on low carbon pathways, while pursuing efforts to reach net zero emissions by 2050.

Each year the group will convene a high-level meeting for its members to review results, exchange ideas and steer the direction of the group’s operations. The first meeting of this kind will be held in connection with the UN Climate Change Conference, COP25, in Madrid.

“Substantially reducing emissions from heavy industry is crucial if we are to be able to attain the goals of the Paris Agreement,” said Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven at the launch of the initiative.

The Leadership Group is stepping up efforts to reduce climate impact within some of the most polluting sectors: heavy industry and heavy-duty transport. By helping governments and industry to transform, as well as establishing an arena for innovation sharing and public-private collaboration, the Leadership Group will provide conditions for the successful and enhanced implementation of the Paris Agreement.

By demonstrating political and private sector leadership, the group aims to scale up industry transition both domestically and internationally. One important aspect will be to develop sector-specific roadmaps towards net zero carbon emissions, providing a blueprint on how to transit. This builds on successful experience from Sweden, where thirteen different sectors, such as transport and energy, have developed such roadmaps.

Furthermore, the Leadership Group will also boost technology innovation, especially in developing countries. Rapid technology innovation will be key to achieving the goals of the Paris Agreement, especially in developing countries. This will require public and private collaboration in research and development. Therefore, the Leadership Group aims to create a platform where governments and industry can cooperate on accelerating global industry transition – also facilitating support for the development of new technologies, based on the individual needs of different countries.

The work is being led by Sweden and India and supported by organisations such as the World Economic Forum, the Stockholm Environment Institute, the Indian Institutes of Technology and the Indian Institute of Management – Ahmedabad.

“The World Economic Forum will help India, Sweden and other partners to deploy the innovative models and technologies we know are needed to solve our most complex and stubborn carbon emission reduction challenges,” said Klaus Schwab, WEF Founder and Executive Chairman, at the Climate Summit in New York.

Are you a government or business representative wanting to know more about the initiative? Perhaps your organisation could make a valuable contribution to the Leadership Group.

For more information on how to get involved, please contact Ola Göransson at the Swedish Ministry of the Environment (ola.goransson@gov.se) or Robert Watt at the Stockholm Environment Institute (robert.watt@sei.org).