Reducing CO2 emissions from heavy industry: a review of technologies and considerations for policy makers - Grantham Briefing Paper 7

Topics: Mitigation
Type: Briefing paper
Publication date: February 2012



Authors:  Dr Tamaryn NappAjay GambhirDr Nicholas Florin and Dr Paul Fennell

Smoking chimneys Industrial processes are highly energy intensive and currently account for one-third of global energy use. Around 70% of this energy is supplied by fossil fuels, and CO2 emissions from industry make up 40% of total CO2 emissions worldwide. Since the 1990s, the energy consumption of industry per unit of value added in developed countries, has fallen by around 1.3% per year on average (once adjusted for structural changes), but at a lower rate than the average reduction of 2.8% per year during the 1970s and 1980s. Moreover, improvements in energy intensity have been more than offset by increased total production, such that energy consumption and CO2 emissions have continued to rise dramatically.

Demand for manufactured goods is expected to at least double by 2050 (relative to 2006 levels), and, if industrial emissions remain unchecked, total CO2 emissions are projected to increase by up to 90% by 2050 compared to 2007.

Reducing emissions from industry requires a sustained and focussed effort. This Briefing Paper outlines the options for reducing industrial CO2 emissions, concentrating on those sectors which make up the largest share (>70%) of emissions, i.e. iron and steel, cement and chemicals and petrochemicals. The paper gives an overview of industrial mitigation technologies, both those that are process-specific and those that apply broadly across the whole of industry. The abatement potential of these technologies, their cost effectiveness and barriers to uptake, as well as the policies to overcome these barriers, are discussed.


  • Executive summary
  • Introduction
  • Key industrial sectors
  • Mitigation technology options
  • Carbon capture and storage (CCS)
  • Cost of abatement in industry
  • Roadmap for industry and research agenda
  • Policies to unlock the industrial mitigation potential
  • Conclusions

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