COP27: Breakthrough Agenda launched

Decarbonisation Day at COP27 saw the launch of the Breakthrough Agenda, a collaboration between major countries that sets out a 12-month plan to help make clean technologies cheaper and more accessible.

The agenda was supported by US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry, who commented, “The Breakthrough Agenda is galvanizing action in this decisive decade across the world’s most important economic sectors to decarbonize. Government cooperation, in collaboration with the private sector through the First Movers Coalition, can scale critical technologies and create new markets. I congratulate our close partners the United Kingdom on the continued success of the Breakthrough Agenda.”

The Breakthrough Agenda countries representing more than 50% of global GDP set out sector-specific ‘Priority Actions’ to decarbonise power, transport and steel, scale up low-emission hydrogen production and accelerate the shift to sustainable agriculture by COP28. These measures are designed to cut energy costs, rapidly reduce emissions and boost food security for billions of people worldwide.

The actions under each breakthrough will be delivered through coalitions of committed countries – from the G7, European Commission, India, Egypt, Morocco and others, supported by leading international organizations and initiatives, and spearheaded by a core group of leading governments. These efforts will be reinforced with private finance and leading industry initiatives and further countries are encouraged to join.

The Priority Actions include agreements to:

• Develop common definitions for low-emission and near-zero emission steel, hydrogen and sustainable batteries to help direct billions of pounds in investment, procurement and trade to ensure credibility and transparency

• Ramp up the deployment of essential infrastructure projects including at least 50 large scale net-zero emission industrial plants, at least 100 hydrogen valleys and a package of major cross-border power grid infrastructure projects

• Set a common target date to phase out polluting cars and vehicles, consistent with the Paris Agreement. Significant backing for the dates of 2040 globally and 2035 in leading markets will be announced by countries, businesses and cities on Solutions Day

• Use billions of pounds of private and public procurement and infrastructure spend to stimulate global demand for green industrial goods

• Systematically strengthen financial and technological assistance to developing countries and emerging markets to support their transitions backed up by a range of new financial measures, including the world’s first major dedicated industry transition programme under the Climate Investment Funds

• Drive investment in agriculture research, development & demonstration (RD&D) to generate solutions to address the challenges of food insecurity, climate change and environmental degradation

The priority actions are being supported and accelerated by a raft of developments across industry and government-led initiatives, with accompanying key announcements seen today and throughout COP27. These include:

• The First Movers Coalition, which launched at COP26 to help drive industrial decarbonisation, has expanded to 10 new corporate members including PepsiCo, General Motors, Rio Tinto and ETEX, to reach 65 in total with a combined market cap of about $8 trillion. Together they commit $12bn to commercialize zero-carbon technology to decarbonize the heavy industry and long-distance transport sectors, responsible for 30% of global emissions.

• The First Movers Coalition also launched its cement and concrete sector, with newly announced companies committing to purchase at least 10% near-zero carbon cement and concrete per year by 2030.

• A package of new financial announcements for industrial transitions: the launch of the Climate Investment Funds’ (CIFs) new Industry Transition Programme – the world’s first large scale dedicated finance programme for developing country industry transitions; a $410m green hydrogen investment in Egypt led by the EBRD; and World Bank plans to develop a $1.6bn green hydrogen global programme.

• This comes on top of recently confirmed plans to launch by COP28 the ‘CIFs Capital Market Mechanism’ – a new initiative instrument that modelling has shown will generate billions of dollars a year in extra finance into sector transitions over the next 10 years.

• The Mission Possible Partnership (MPP), an alliance of leading climate organizations, released 2030 Milestones for seven hard-to-abate industrial and transport sectors, following publication of transition strategies endorsed by more than 200 industrial companies.

• MPP will also provide advisory and technical support for accelerated decarbonisation projects in two industrial hubs in Houston and Los Angeles, United States, to scale first projects spanning multiple hard-to-abate industrial and transport sectors and inform the next wave of green industrial clusters.

• The Africa Net-Zero Concrete Group has launched and the first African Net-Zero Concrete National Roadmap has been set by Egypt.

• Meanwhile, a joint statement will be launched between the largest green hydrogen developers and shipping actors mutually committing to produce and use green hydrogen-derived fuels by 2030 and beyond.

Alok Sharma, COP26 President commented, “Since we launched the Breakthrough Agenda at COP26, the world has changed and we are facing a perilous geopolitical and economic situation. That only makes international collaboration more urgent. That’s why I am pleased that countries representing over 50% of global GDP have now agreed to a set of priority actions for implementation. Now, it is vital for all to deliver and demonstrate real progress as we move forward. This is integral to achieving the 2030 goal of making clean technology affordable, available and accessible to all.”