The World Economic Forum (WEF) on Thursday said that its initiative to help industries reduce emissions has been joined by nine leading industrial clusters in China, Indonesia, Japan, Spain, and the United States. The mission aims to connect 100 industrial clusters globally to reduce 1.6 billion metric tonnes of CO2 emissions, retain and create 18 million jobs and contribute $2.5 trillion to global GDP.
As per WEF's calculations, industrial clusters account for 15 per cent to 20 per cent of global CO2 emissions, making them an attractive target for emission reductions. Industries in the same general location benefit not only from sharing risk, infrastructure, and natural resources but also from a united approach to tackle decarbonisation along with workforce transformation and environmental justice. Industrial clusters are areas where companies, representing either a single or multiple industries, provide opportunities for scale, sharing of risk/resources, aggregation and optimisation of demand.
The initiative, which was launched in 2021 and is supported by Accenture and EPRI, primarily focuses on reducing heavy industry asset emissions in regional industrial zones. Besides, it also supporting job creation and increasing economic competitiveness.
“The nine new industrial cluster members add momentum to our programme and diversify the locations and types of industries seeking to accelerate their decarbonisation, making our initiative truly global and comprehensive,” said Roberto Bocca, Head of the Platform for Energy, Materials and Infrastructure, World Economic Forum.
He added that the new programme will cover several heavy industries sectors in nine countries across four continents. “We encourage other industrial estates and hubs to join us in helping reduce CO2 emissions faster by creating international public-private and cross-industry partnerships which enable implementation of low-carbon technologies,” he added.
The new members of the initiative are:
> Andalusian Green Hydrogen Valley, with projects in Palos de la Frontera (Huelva) and San Roque (Cádiz), Spain
> Canary Islands Industrial Cluster, Spain
> Greater St Louis and Illinois Regional Clean Hydrogen Hub Industrial Cluster, US
> Indo-Pacific Net-zero Battery-Materials Consortium (INBC) in Indonesia
> Jababeka Net-Zero Industrial Cluster in Cikarang, Indonesia
> Kawasaki Carbon Neutral Industrial Complex, Japan
> National Capital Hydrogen Center, US
> Ordos-Envision Net Zero Industrial Park, China
> Sanjiang New Area Industrial Park, China
The already existing initiative signatory clusters are Brightlands Circular Space, H2Houston Hub, Ohio Clean Hydrogen Hub Alliance, Port of Antwerp-Bruges, Zero Carbon Humber, Hynet North West, Kwinana Industries Council, and the Basque Net-Zero Industrial Supercluster.
As per WEF’s estimates, the new clusters will have significant decarbonisation potential, bringing the CO2 emissions of all the initiative’s members to 451 million metric tonnes emitted per year, comparable to the annual emissions of Turkey.
The 17 members also contribute economically by employing more than 2.7 million people and represent an annual GDP contribution of $218 billion.
Industrial clusters are powerful drivers of innovation at scale and knowledge sharing. The expanded initiative community includes new greenfield operations, particularly a number of hydrogen clusters that are future-energy export hubs aimed at developing international green energy corridors.
“Green hydrogen is the best low-carbon alternative for hard-to-abate sectors including industry and heavy transport,” said Maarten Wetselaar, CEO of Cepsa.
“We see more and more customers keen to commit to green hydrogen consumption and southern Spain offers one of the best price points in Europe to produce it. Cepsa’s two projects in our Andalusian Green Hydrogen Valley, the largest green hydrogen hub in Europe, will help create a commercial construct to meet this demand, decarbonize local industry and begin to provide the scale Spain needs to become a net exporter of clean energy,” Wetselaar added.
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