One of the most urgent challenges facing society is to efficiently and cost-effectively reduce global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and mitigate climate change. Globally, the industry sector is responsible for more GHG pollution than any other sector, and industry’s share of emissions is projected to increase in the coming decades, as cost declines for electric vehicles and renewable energy spur larger-scale adoption of these low-emission technologies. Despite the industry sector’s importance, much less attention is paid to decarbonizing industry than to the transportation or electricity sectors. (For example, consider how often the news media covers electric vehicles or solar power, compared to technologies that improve the energy efficiency of assembly lines or reduce process emissions from the manufacturing of cement.)
This is an exciting time for industry. Revolutionary technologies such as 3D printing, innovative materials, and facility automation promise to remake every aspect of the manufacturing process, from prototyping to assembly. New technologies are transforming how we make everything from medicines to smartphones. These advances offer opportunities for cost savings, as well as for emissions reductions. It is necessary to identify how industry can use these technologies to reduce its carbon footprint while still manufacturing the products needed to support the global economy and raise the standard of living throughout the developing world.
The workshop will bring together invitees with knowledge from various domains that bear on the problem of industry sector decarbonization. We aim for diversity along three axes: areas of technical or policy expertise; organization type (private industry, NGO, or academia); and geographic knowledge (aiming to ensure the unique policy environments of major industrial producers are represented, such as the U.S., China, India, and Europe).