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First Movers Coalition members pledge $12bn in green purchase agreements
8th November 2022 By: Donna Slater Creamer Media Contributing Editor and Photographer
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The World Economic Forum (WEF) and the US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate have announced that global decarbonisation organisation the First Movers Coalition (FMC) is expanding with a $12-billion pledge in 2030 buying commitments for green technologies to decarbonise the cement and concrete industry and other hard-to-abate sectors.
From construction and engineering to real estate and developers, FMC companies have committed to buying at least 10% near-zero cement and concrete a year by 2030.
The latest expansion of the FMC – made up of 65 companies with a collective market value of about $8-trillion – focuses on cleaning up one of the world’s most carbon-intensive industry sectors through purchasing commitments for low-carbon technology.
As part of these endeavours, Cemex is developing the first full-sized, fully electric concrete mixer in Europe in collaboration with Volvo, and recently commissioned ten such vehicles.
Holcim recently achieved its first successful purchase orders with fellow coalition member Volvo as part of plans to deploy thousands of zero-emission vehicles across its business over the next few years.
Founding coalition members of the cement and concrete sector are General Motors (GM), Vattenfall, ETEX, Ørsted and RMZ Corporation.
US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry explains that cement is the second most consumed product globally after potable water, and that the demand signal that top companies have set today for near-zero concrete will drive critical investment in next-generation technologies.
“I am also delighted with the increased commitments we have announced across our existing long-distance transport, heavy industry and carbon-removal sectors.
“This unprecedented $12-billion demand signal will bring competitive technologies to market this decade that are needed to decarbonise so-called ‘hard-to-abate’ sectors of the global economy,” he adds.
WEF president Børge Brende says FMC companies are paving the way for the decarbonisation of industries through disruptive innovations across seven of the hardest-to-abate sectors.
“The cement and concrete sector is the latest addition to this effort, creating the early markets needed to scale innovative green technologies.
“We are thrilled to see government partners join in this effort to ensure a net-zero transition that is truly global,” he says.
Kerry announced the expansion of the FMC alongside Microsoft president and vice chairperson Brad Smith, Ørsted CEO Mads Nipper and Cemex CEO Fernando González.
Since the coalition’s launch in 2021 by US President Joe Biden at COP26, companies that make up the FMC have made unprecedented advance purchase commitments by 2030 for near-zero carbon steel, aluminium, shipping, trucking, aviation, carbon dioxide removal solutions and now cement and concrete.
“GM is proud to confirm our intention to join the FMC through a concrete commitment to signal a firm market demand for a net-zero transition,” says GM chairperson and CEO Mary Barra.
“GM is actively pursuing the vision of a world with zero crashes, zero emissions, and zero congestion. We believe there is an economic opportunity and a social imperative in reducing carbon emissions,” she adds.
Recently joined FMC members include Autodesk (aviation), Bang & Olufsen (aluminium), Constellium (aluminium), Emirates Global Aluminium (carbon removal technologies), ETEX (cement and concrete), GM (cement and concrete), Hoegh Autoliners (shipping), PepsiCo (aluminium and trucking), Rio Tinto (aviation, shipping and trucking) and RMZ Corp (cement and concrete).
According to experts, the critical climate target of 1.5 ºC above preindustrial levels can only be reached if new decarbonising technologies are quickly developed.
Demand signals today for innovative green technologies by 2030 will ensure that innovative green solutions are invested in and scaled in this decade.
Progress by FMC members to meet these ambitious targets include Apple’s buying of the first batch of commercial-purity, direct carbon-free aluminium this year following a significant advancement it supported in developing smelting technology that produces oxygen instead of greenhouse gases.
The aluminium is the first to be manufactured at an industrial scale outside a laboratory and will be used in Apple products.
By switching to recycled and low-carbon aluminium, Apple’s carbon emissions associated with the material have decreased by 68% since 2015.
Edited by: Chanel de Bruyn Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor Online EMAIL THIS ARTICLE SAVE THIS ARTICLE ARTICLE ENQUIRY
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