Summary of progress and outlook

Executive summary

Since its inception in June 2021 at the 12th meeting of the Clean Energy Ministerial, the Industrial Deep Decarbonisation Initiative (IDDI) has made great progress in achieving its aim to deliver industrial decarbonization, starting with the construction sector, by stimulating new demand for low and near zero emission steel, cement and concrete. To embark upon achieving this ambitious yet crucial aim, the coalition has sought to first address three key interrelated challenges. The IDDI has since developed a clearer vision of the actions its signatories could take, not only in overcoming the three primary obstacles, but in delivering upon its aim more generally.

The purpose of this paper is in part to summarise the progress made by the IDDI thus far and make the decisions of the initiative transparent, thereby contributing to international discussion on the deep
decarbonization of heavy industry. This stocktaking exercise seeks to contribute to the narrative on three priority issues selected by the IDDI that could stimulate the creation of a thriving market for low carbon steel and concrete products. These issues are green public procurement (GPP), low and near zero emissions material definitions, and embodied carbon data reporting.

Considering the potential GPP has to drive the demand and create lead markets for low and near zero emission industrial materials, the IDDI has offered a framework for the procurement of these materials, the so called GPP Pledge. The Pledge addresses political commitment of national and subnational government entities for GPP that includes four levels of ambition. Multiple aspects of the Pledge language were debated amongst the partners, including the specification of crude materials and subproducts for disclosure, an on-ramping approach, the need for four ambition levels, the focus on product emissions in ambition levels 3 and 4, the definition of low emission and near zero cement/concrete and steel, and the consideration of the national context. To facilitate the adoption of the Pledge, the IDDI is working next to develop guidance for policy development, implementation and tracking.

Progress on the Pledge has been aligned with efforts to support the disclosure of crude steel, cement, and subproduct greenhouse gas (GHG) intensity as the IDDI understands that a key step in procurement policy development is the need for standardized, comprehensive data collection mechanisms and environmental assessment methods. The IDDI agreed to use Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs) or otherwise verified Life Cycle Assessments (LCAs) as the basis for standardized reporting and defining GHG intensity levels. Subsequently, the initiative has sought to identify the limitations of current Product Category Rules (PCRs), alongside potential improvements, with the harmonization of PCR approaches for the target materials being accepted as a key deliverable. The IDDI agreed to employ the International Energy Agency (IEA) definitions for low emission and near zero cement and steel production as a robust starting point. Work continues to be undertaken on three key challenges relating to PCR harmonization, including refinement and extension of IEA definitions along the value chain, the GHG emission boundary definition for each product stage, and the data quality requirements on the use of facility specific GHG reporting data and background data. The IDDI is curating step-by-step guidance on GPP development for signatory countries to deliver upon their minimum pledge requirements.

The IDDI recognised that a central challenge in GPP implementation is the lack of high-resolution data across full value chains. Data siloing throughout the value chain was identified as a central barrier limiting the effective flow of data between organizations. The initiative’s partners have subsequently agreed on the need to decentralise the disclosure of emissions data within open interoperable networks to support baselining, target setting and benchmarking. To better understand how to realise this ambition, the IDDI has explored the relative merits of several actions, including the harmonization of open data standards, the promotion of trust in open access, the definition of rules for data sharing, the promotion of independent data governance, and mandates for engagement in open access.

Reflecting upon this progress, the purpose of this paper is also to explain the collective vision and roadmap for the IDDI moving forward. This roadmap outlines the possible actions, targets and interventions that government, finance, business and civil society stakeholders could adopt to deliver upon the goals of the IDDI. The roadmap seeks to support the adoption of GPP to stimulate low and near zero emission industrial materials, in particular steel, cement and concrete. The vision of the IDDI extends beyond just GPP. The ultimate ambition here is to guide the wider global strategy towards a net zero industry.

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