Giving Compass' Take:
- Emily Pontecorvo reports on an initiative to reduce emissions in seven 'difficult to decarbonize' sectors that collectively account for 30% of greenhouse gas emissions.
- Why is it critical to start tackling the toughest decarbonization projects before the world has successfully transitioned away from fuel-dependent energy generation and personal transportation? How can you support innovation that provides tools needed to confront the climate threat?
- Read about the climate tech we need.
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Molecules of carbon dioxide, methane, and other greenhouse gases are pouring into the atmosphere and heating up the planet, and time is of the essence to turn off the tap. But though there are proven ways to cut the emissions out of much of modern life — namely, electrifying vehicles and buildings and powering them with renewables like wind and solar — the hard truth is that there’s still an uncomfortable number of 21st century pursuits that can’t easily be electrified.
Experts refer to shipping, flying, long-haul trucking, and manufacturing materials like steel and cement as “difficult to decarbonize.” Each of these industries has unique challenges, but across the board it’s not yet technologically or economically feasible for them to use cleaner sources of energy than fossil fuels. And clean energy isn’t the only hurdle. Making steel and cement also emits carbon dioxide as a byproduct of chemical reactions, called “process emissions.”
These five industries, plus chemicals and aluminum, are responsible for about 30 percent of global carbon emissions. But difficult to decarbonize is not impossible to decarbonize, and now a new initiative called the Mission Possible Partnership is bringing together the leading companies in each of these industries to put their heads together and figure it out.
There are already scientists and companies working on solutions across each of these industries. For example, some commercial aircrafts are starting to use “sustainable aviation fuel” made of waste products like cooking oil and animal fat, which is expensive and not emissions-free, but emits less than petroleum-based fuel across its life cycle.
Read the full article about “difficult to decarbonize" industries by Emily Pontecorvo at Grist.