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An aluminum clad building facade to illustrate the importance of zero carbon technology in buildingsThe World Economic Forum and the U.S. President’s Special Envoy for Climate today announced at COP27 the expansion of a coalition of global businesses to commit $12 billion in purchasing commitments by 2030 for zero carbon and green technologies to decarbonize the cement and concrete industry and other hard materials. to reduce sectors. The latest expansion of Firstcomers Coalition – made up of 65 companies with a collective market value of approximately $8 trillion – is focused on cleaning up one of the world’s most carbon-intensive industrial sectors through purchasing commitments for technologies to low carbon. From construction and engineering to real estate and developers, recently announced First Mover companies have pledged to buy at least 10% near-zero cement and concrete per year by 2030.

“Cement is the second most consumed product in the world after drinking water, and the demand signal that big business has established today for near-zero concrete will drive critical investments in next-generation technologies” said John Kerry, the US President’s special climate envoy. “I am also pleased with the increased commitments we have announced in our existing long-haul transportation, heavy industry and carbon removal sectors. This unprecedented $12 billion demand signal will put the market in this decade of the competitive technologies that are needed to decarbonize the so-called “hard to cut” sectors of the global economy.

Kerry announced the expansion of the First Movers Coalition alongside Brad Smith, President and Vice President of Microsoft, Mads Nipper, CEO of Ørsted, and Fernando González, CEO of CEMEX. The founding members of the cement and concrete sector coalition are General Motors, Vattenfall, ETEX, Ørsted and RMZ Corporation.

“First Movers Coalition companies are leading the way to decarbonize our industries through disruptive innovations in seven of the hardest-to-reduce sectors. The cement and concrete sector is the latest addition to this effort, creating the first markets needed to scale innovative green and carbon-free technologies. We are delighted to see government partners joining this effort to ensure a truly global net zero transition,” said Børge Brende, President of the World Economic Forum.

Since the Coalition’s launch in 2021, companies that make up the First Movers Coalition have made advance purchase commitments by 2030 for near-zero carbon steel, aluminum, shipping, trucking, aviation, carbon dioxide removal solutions and now cement and concrete.

Members recently joined by the First Movers Coalition are: Autodesk (aviation), Bang & Olufsen (aluminum), Constellium (aluminum), Emirates Global Aluminum (carbon removal technologies), ETEX (cement and concrete), General Motors ( cement and concrete), Hoegh Autoliners (shipping), PepsiCo (aluminum, trucking), Rio Tinto (aviation, shipping and trucking) and RMZ Corp (cement and concrete).

According to experts, the critical climate target of 1.5°C can only be achieved if new decarbonisation technologies are rapidly developed. Current demand signals for innovative green technologies by 2030 will ensure that innovative green solutions will be invested in and scaled up in this decade.

The progress made by members of the First Movers Coalition towards these ambitious goals includes:

  • Aluminum:
    • Aluminum industry champion Apple purchased the first batch of commercial-purity direct carbon-free aluminum this year following a significant breakthrough it supported in developing smelting technology that produces oxygen instead of greenhouse gases. Aluminum is the first to be manufactured on an industrial scale outside of a laboratory and will be used in Apple products. By switching to recycled and low-carbon aluminum, Apple’s carbon emissions associated with the material have decreased by 68% since 2015.
    • Ball Corporation has partnered with fellow RioTinto and Novelis, as well as AB Inev, to manufacture Canada’s first low-carbon beverage can for Corona beer. The cans used low-carbon primary aluminum produced with inert anode technology and carbon-free hydroelectricity, as well as recycled material ingots, which reduce carbon emissions from aluminum can foil by more than 30%.
    • Ford Motor Company and Rio Tinto have signed a memorandum of understanding for the supply of low-carbon batteries and materials for use in Ford vehicles, including metal produced using carbon-free smelting technology and of Rio Tinto’s hydroelectric operations in Canada.
  • Aviation: Delta has signed more than half of the offtake agreements required to meet its coalition commitment, including an offtake agreement with DG fuels for 55 million gallons of FT SAF per year from 2027 to 2033.
  • Steel: Volvo has introduced fossil-free steel to its heavy-duty electric truck production line and will deliver the first batch of 20 trucks to another Amazon coalition member in Germany by the end of 2022.
  • Steel and Trucking: Scania produces trucks with non-fossil steel and plans to fully shift its steel purchases in Europe to this standard by 2030. In addition, it will implement electric heavy-duty vehicles in three streams of transport by the end of 2022.
  • Trucking
    • CEMEX is developing the first all-electric full-size concrete mixer in Europe in conjunction with Volvo, and has recently put 10 such vehicles into service.
    • Holcim recently secured its first purchase orders with coalition member Volvo as part of plans to roll out thousands of zero-emission vehicles across its business over the next few years.

In addition, the US International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) announced that it will host a series of First Movers Coalition business seminars with companies seeking financing for priority projects in developing markets. The seminars will provide businesses with information on the many tools and resources available from the US government, including loans, insurance, technical assistance, and market information.

The Firstcomers Coalition was launched by US President Biden and the World Economic Forum at COP26 to decarbonize heavy industry and the long-distance transport sectors responsible for more than a third of global emissions. The global initiative, made up of 65 companies, aims to harness corporate purchasing power to decarbonize seven hard-to-reduce industrial sectors that currently account for 30% of global emissions: aluminum, aviation, chemicals, concrete, shipping, steel and trucking, as well as innovative carbon removal technologies.