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Greening the Hardest Sectors

Addressing the climate crisis requires more than commitments from national governments and advances in renewable energy. Unless meaningful action is taken to decarbonize traditional hard-to-abate sectors like steel and commercial aviation, we will have little chance of keeping global temperatures at a safe level.

DENVER – World leaders are making increasingly ambitious commitments to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions and limit the catastrophic effects of climate change. But to convert commitments into results, more must be done to decarbonize all sectors of the global economy rapidly.

This process will be relatively easier for sectors like electricity and passenger cars, where clean-energy solutions are ready for deployment at scale. But it will be much more difficult for aviation, cement, shipping, steel, and other “hard-to-abate” sectors.

Achieving net-zero emissions in these sectors requires the rapid commercialization of technologies that are not yet quite ready for deployment at scale; and commercialization, in turn, will require coordination across industries. Suppliers of products such as steel need to align with their customers, financial partners, policymakers, and other stakeholders to agree on a decarbonization pathway for their industries.

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