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Kickstarting the industry transition in states and regions

3 May 2019, 10:45 UTC 3 min read

The Climate Group has kicked off the new Under2 Coalition peer learning project Industry Transition Platform (ITP) with a three-day workshop last month in Milan, Italy.

Participants from ten highly industrialized state and regional governments, from seven countries, met to begin the two-year project to work together to share experience on cutting industry emissions, while supporting growth, job creation and prosperity.

The participating governments are: North Rhine-Westphalia (Germany), Lombardy (Italy), California (USA), Scotland (UK), Wales (UK), Hauts-de-France (France), Silesia (Poland), Quebec (Canada), Minnesota (USA) and Emilia-Romagna (Italy).

Together these jurisdictions represent over 100 million people, roughly the populations of Argentina and Italy combined, and over 5 trillion USD in GDP. They also represent combined emissions of 1,273 million tons of CO2e, of which an average of 36% comes from the industrial sector.

Key areas of interest identified during the workshop included:

  • Driving low carbon innovation in partnership with industry
  • Industrial energy efficiency and renewable energy
  • Innovative finance and investment models
  • Engaging with industry stakeholders
  • Industrial applications for the production and utilization of sustainable hydrogen

During the project ‘Innovation Teams’ focusing on specific challenges will work to develop impactful, innovative and ambitious industry emissions reduction strategies, with the support of industry and research experts. The ITP has systems change at its heart and participants will learn systems change techniques to drive transformational change through government intervention and industry relationships. 

Working with industry

By focusing exclusively on industry, the project targets the economic sector that presents the greatest challenges and opportunities for highly industrialized regions to cut emissions. An essential part of the project is fostering meaningful dialogue and knowledge transfer between government and industry. The Milan workshop included a site visit to ORI Martin, an international steel production company, at their plant in Brescia, Italy.

During the visit, participants learnt about the various technologies and approaches ORI Martin has introduced to reduce its impact on the environment. The plant produces steel with an electric arc furnace, instead of the traditional blast furnace. Electric arc furnaces consume less energy than blast furnaces, can time their activity to use low cost electricity and emit significantly less carbon dioxide.

Ori Martin, together with Tenova (technological engineers), Turboden (turbogenerator manufacturers), and A2A (utilities and energy suppliers for Brescia city), created the innovative iRecovery project, the first of its kind in Italy, to harness waste heat from the steelworks to produce electricity and heat for the city. iRecovery provides heat, via a district heating system, to 2000 families in the winter, and during the summer produces enough electricity for 700 families.

ITP workshop 1

Next steps

Over the next two years, ITP government participants will take part in a series of workshops, webinars, and secondments, to share their experiences and knowledge. During the project, they will engage with experts, industry representatives and system change specialists, to equip them to address their low-carbon industry innovation challenges. Learnings will be shared across the Under2 Coalition to inspire other governments to start their industry transition.

The Industry Transition Platform is a joint initiative of The Climate Group, the Government of North Rhine-Westphalia, and funded by Stiftung Mercator.