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Paving the way to a low carbon industry future with the Industry Transition Platform

3 August 2021, 8:29 UTC 3 min read

Last month, we welcomed representatives from the Governments of North Rhine-Westphalia, Zuid-Holland and Québec, as well as Stiftung Mercator, to an event celebrating the achievements of the Industry Transition Platform. 

Since April 2019, the Industry Transition Platform has been working with highly industrialised state and regional governments from across Europe and North America, supporting them to develop strategies to cut industry emissions while guaranteeing jobs and securing a long-term clean and healthy future for their citizens.

In that time, the project has held workshops and webinars, commissioned bespoke research, and organised virtual site visits to industrial facilities across the world. These activities, coupled with the governments’ ambitions to tackle one of the most challenging sectors to make emissions cuts, has seen them make great strides in developing emissions reduction strategies.

During the event, speakers emphasised the importance of cutting greenhouse gas emissions from the industry sector, and the government’s spoke of their experiences taking part in the project. 

Prof. Dr. Andreas Pinkwart, Minister of Economic Affairs, Innovation, Digitalisation and Energy, North Rhine-Westphalia, lead government in the project, shared his support for Europe becoming the first climate-neutral continent by 2050, with North Rhine-Westphalia aiming for climate neutrality by 2045. 

With the industrial sector at the heart of the state’s economy, the government is boosting research to identify solutions that contribute to climate protection and industrial competitiveness simultaneously. 

Industry Transition Platform - Minister Pinkwart

Philipp Wesemann, Project Manager at Stiftung Mercator, funder of the Industry Transition Platform, shared remarks on the importance of international collaboration. Many regions around the world are facing similar challenges, and so it’s important to come together and share successes, challenges and mistakes – working together for the greater good.

Industry Transition Platform - Stiftung Mercator

During a panel discussion, governments were invited to introduce their regional plans for low carbon industry transition, the key policies and actions available at the subnational level and the impact of COVID-19 on local industries. 

Jean Lemire, Envoy for Climate Change, Northern and Arctic Affairs for the Government of Québec, spoke of the province’s 2030 Plan for a Green Economy. Stating that it’s a golden opportunity for companies that want to continue their industrial processes in greener and more sustainable ways. As a result of COVID-19, the government is directing resources and funding to save jobs and protect the livelihoods of its citizens.

Industry Transition Platform - Quebec

When asked for a final piece of advice for other state and regional governments developing and implementing industry emissions reduction strategies, Jeanette Baljeu, Regional Minister of the Province of Zuid-Holland underscored the power of subnational actors in developing strategies that work. With Zuid-Holland’s ambition to become Europe’s hydrogen hub, it’s important that they work closely with other regions - both nationally and internationally.

Industry Transition Platform - Zuid-Holland

Tackling emissions from industry is vital if we’re to achieve our climate goals. Through the Industry Transition Platform, we’ve driven low carbon industry innovation in states and regions. Bringing together key players to discuss, collaborate and share knowledge that supports industry action and encourages clear and supportive policies.

As we wrap up the project, keep an eye on our webpage for the industry transition strategies developed by the governments that participated in the project, as well as a series of how-to-guides to support other governments in developing their own strategies. 

The Climate Group would like to thank the Government of North-Rhine Westphalia and Stiftung Mercator for supporting the project and contributing to its successful delivery.