The challenging cost of COP26: Hotter on energy transition

Mining and metals companies say they’re serious about transitioning to a sustainable economy, but whether they can afford to is another matter.

Achieving decarbonization throughout the supply chain is going to require a huge amount of investment in technology to reimagine production processes and redesign existing sites.
Last week, the International Aluminium Institute estimated that to decarbonize the electricity-related portion of the aluminium industry’s emissions – which account for more than 60% of the sector’s 1.1 billion tonnes of emissions produced annually – could cost as much as $1.5 trillion.
And that’s just aluminium, which accounts for roughly 2% of global annual carbon emissions.
McKinsey estimates that it will cost $21 trillion to decarbonize the cement, steel, ammonia and ethylene industries, which together account for 45% of global emissions. It will require energy-efficiency improvements, the electric production of heat, the use of hydrogen and biomass as feedstock or fuel, and carbon capture utilization and storage (CCUS), McKinsey forecasts.

It will also mean accelerating the build-out of renewable-energy capacity, to...

Published

Andrea Hotter

November 01, 2021

18:25 GMT

New York