Near zero emissions does not only sound good, but this transition is actually both technically and economically possible - that's what Lars Nilsson and Stefan Lechtenböhmer blogged on the conference website of "Our Common Future". Energy and materials efficiency can, when being combined, easily reduce specific emissions by at least 50 percent. To reach zero emissions, though, new technologies will also be needed, including electrification based on renewable sources of energy. Different materials for decarbonisation face different levels of resource constraints, but a circular economy powered by renewable energy is a viable solution.
The blog entry "Decarbonising the energy intensive basic materials industry in the next 40-70 years" takes the paper "Decarbonising the energy intensive basic materials industry through electrification - implications for future EU electricity demand" as basis, which was presented at the "Our Common Future" conference. Both are available online.