Decarbonizing heavy industry is a major component of global efforts to mitigate climate change. Steel production alone generates 6% of all global greenhouse gas emissions, and cement production 5% (steel accounts for 8% of all CO2 emissions, and cement 6%).
Emerging and developing economies are likely to see the highest increase in demand for industrial products over the next decades, and instruments such as the EU’s Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism may fundamentally shift market conditions for industrial production and export.
To scale-up breakthrough technologies for decarbonizing heavy industry in emerging economies, innovative financing approaches that blend different sources of public and private capital are essential; and such collaborations must be established in the current decade to avoid further lock-in of new high-carbon assets.
IFIs can play a major role in transitioning heavy industry to net zero. By providing targeted concessional capital, IFIs can help de-risk investments for first movers and commercial financiers, and technical assistance at different levels can support the development of national transition plans, sectoral and corporate roadmaps, project pipelines, and capacity development.
IFIs’ involvement in supporting transitions in heavy industry is only in its early stages. Several barriers have so far hindered IFIs from engaging more actively in this space, including misalignment between IFI financing mandates and the needs of corporates involved, the size of investments needed, and country priorities focused on other sectors.
Against this backdrop, this brief provides an overview of the technical and financial assistance that IFIs currently provide to heavy industry decarbonization in emerging and developing economies. It links to LeadIT’s commitment to the Steel Breakthrough Agenda, which highlighted enhancing international assistance towards decarbonization of the steel sector as one of its priority international actions for 2023.
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