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The Davos Agenda: Mission Possible: Climate-Action Partnership launched to help transform heavy industry and transport

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The Davos Agenda: Impressions from The Davos Agenda 2021, Geneva - Switzerland, 25-29 January 2021. Copyright © World Economic Forum/Pascal Bitz

Brings together over 400 companies, along with their customers, suppliers, bankers, shareholders, and regulators, to forge net-zero pathways and the actions necessary to achieve them 

WED 27 JAN, 2021-theGBJournal- The Mission Possible Partnership, a new coalition formed to accelerate the decarbonization of global industries representing 30% of global emissions, launched today at the Davos Agenda.

Run by the World Economic Forum, Energy Transitions Commission, Rocky Mountain Institute and the We Mean Business coalition, the Mission Possible Partnership aims to accelerate several pathways for decarbonizing heavy industry and transport by unifying the critical actors needed to influence and enable industry transformation at speed and scale.

The Partnership builds on the success of the Mission Possible Platform, which launched at the United Nations Secretary General’s Climate Action Summit in 2019, and has grown from 30 companies in 2019 to 400 – who all are committed to working on concrete actions towards net-zero. The International Energy Agency will be a strategic partner for the Partnership, central to engagement with governments and bringing to bear its expertise on modeling and technology roadmaps.

The Partnership will help more industries mobilize resources, align across a greater number of organizations, and accelerate the Race to Zero. This initiative will help carbon-intensive sectors reach their targets and bring in the systemic change needed to succeed by providing a clear path to net zero emissions.  

“The number of country commitments to net-zero emissions targets by 2050 has grown during 2020 and is significant,” said Christoph Wolff, Head of Mobility, World Economic Forum. “Public private cooperation across the transport and heavy industry sectors is crucial for the next phrase of action. The launch of the Mission Possible Partnership at the Davos Agenda will accelerate these efforts in the run-up to COP26 in November.”

“As we move into the decade of delivery, we must not only grow the number of actors committed to a resilient, zero carbon future, we must foster the radical collaboration needed to drive transformational change in every sector of the economy,” said Nigel Topping, UK High-Level Champion, COP26. “To achieve these goals requires truly transformational change, and demands leadership and action from across each sector. We are thrilled to be working hand in hand with the Mission Possible Partnership to drive this work forward in seven of the heaviest emitting sectors of the economy.”

The Partnership is centred on the idea that, while the Paris Agreement lays the groundwork for global cooperation, its focus on national targets will not generate the plans and solutions necessary to achieve efficient and effective transition strategies for global industries on its own. The most important missing piece of the global climate action architecture is an effort by sectors, complementing country-centric strategies with action from global industries to unlock technology and energy transformation. This is particularly important for heavy emitting industries.  

The Mission Possible Partnership will be the delivery mechanism for Race to Zero Breakthroughs in hard-to-abate sectors. These are specific near-term tipping points for each sector of the global economy in the race to net zero emissions, being launched by COP26 President Alok Sharma and US Special Envoy for Climate John Kerry as part of the Davos Agenda.

In late 2021, the Partnership will aim to showcase net-zero agreement breakthroughs in shipping, aviation, and steel. Within three years, it plans to help companies complete climate action agreements in these sectors as well as trucking, chemicals, cement, and aluminium.

Together, these seven sectors comprise 30 percent of global emissions. Within five years, the Partnership aims for clear shifts in investment patterns across the seven sectors and will be pursuing net-zero climate action agreements in additional sectors, including potentially food and agriculture.

About the partnership

The Partnership is comprised of four core partners – the World Economic Forum, the Energy Transitions Commission, Rocky Mountain Institute, the We Mean Business coalition.  The International Energy Agency will provide guidance and input on various aspects of MPP’s work, including engagement with governments and energy modelling.

Initial funders include the Bezos Earth Fund and Breakthrough Energy. The partnership’s efforts will be strengthened by the expertise of its supporting partners, which rank among the world´s most influential organizations in industrial decarbonization, finance and policy development. These include the Center for Climate-Aligned Finance, Ceres, the Climate Champions of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, the Global Maritime Forum, SYSTEMIQ, the United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative, and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development.

The seven platforms under formation include:  

  • Shipping – Getting to Zero Coalition – 157 companies to date are engaged to ensure the viability of zero-emission vessels along deep-sea trade routes by 2030 and build the infrastructure for scalable zero-carbon maritime energy. This coalition is spearheaded by the Global Maritime Forum in partnership with the World Economic Forum and the Friends of Ocean Action.
  • Aviation – Clean Skies for Tomorrow – 80 companies are engaged in driving a transition to sustainable aviation fuels and industry decarbonization.
  • Trucking – Road Freight Zero Coalition – 40 companies are engaged in defining pathways and solutions that accelerate the viability and deployment of zero emission fleets and infrastructure for heavy-duty trucking toward a 1.5° trajectory by 2030.
  • Chemicals – Low-Carbon Emitting Technologies – 20 companies are engaged in accelerating the complex transition to low-carbon emitting technologies by addressing technology, regulatory, funding, and market challenges.
  • Steel – Net-Zero Steel Initiative – 12 companies are engaged in shaping the policy, market and finance environment required to underpin the transition to net-zero steel.
  • Aluminium – Aluminium for Climate – a regionally diverse group of 12 organizations, including some of the largest producers globally, are engaged on technology roadmaps and stimulating demand for low-carbon aluminium.
  • Cement – Clean Cement Coalition – two major companies are engaged in developing clean cement standards, stimulating demand for cleaner products, and enlarging the circle of progressive companies committing to net-zero targets.

Additional quotes

“It is clear that if we want to prevent the widespread economic impacts of climate change and have any chance of achieving a 1.5°C pathway, we must tackle emissions from the world’s highest emitting industries. The Mission Possible Partnership has been created to develop a net-zero roadmap for the most critical sectors, to align their ecosystems to spur the demand and financial signals needed to accelerate the deployment of solutions, and to partner with governments to create the supporting policy environment for this profound transformation.” María Mendiluce, CEO of the We Mean Business coalition.

“The next decade will unleash a wave of innovation across all these sectors, creating new jobs, accelerating digitisation, scaling clean energy and shifting to more circular business models – key ingredients together with transition finance needed for a green industrial revolution.” Faustine Delasalle, Director of the Energy Transitions Commission.

“The Paris Agreement was a leap forward in organizing the work of nations on climate but hitting 1.5C also requires a strategy that speaks the language of global industries, which transcend borders in their supply chains, markets, and investors. With a focus on the seven sectors that account for 30% of global emissions, the Mission Possible Partnership has developed an approach to help entire industrial ecosystems define and organize their journey to net-zero emissions.” Paul Bodnar, Managing Director, Rocky Mountain Institute.

“The Mission Possible Partnership offers leading businesses with an unparalleled opportunity to define and deliver the industrial transition pathways that will be vital to creating the zero-carbon economy of the future. Through collaboration businesses can unlock innovative solutions to systemic challenges to ensure these vital industries are developing in line with the most ambitious goals of the Paris Agreement,” said Mads Nipper, CEO, Ørsted.

“Decarbonising electricity will only get the world one third of the way to net-zero emissions. To go the full way, we also need much faster innovation and deployment of clean energy technologies across other sectors such as industry, transport and buildings. The IEA is delighted to be working with the Mission Possible Partnership to bring governments and companies together to accelerate the transformation of the energy system.” Fatih Birol, Executive Director, International Energy Agency.

“The acceleration of the Mission Possible Platform to a Partnership one year since its formation is a signal that businesses and countries are ready to step-up ambition in the race to net-zero emissions. The new Mission Possible Partnership will play a critical role as the “conductor” of the industry decarbonization “orchestra” we have assembled. The Davos Agenda is an important moment in the Drumbeat to COP26 in Glasgow in November and we look forward to working with our partners across sectors to succeed in industry decarbonization.” Anthony Hobley, Executive Director, Mission Possible Partnership

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