Within the frame of the research project Climate-KIC Re-Industrialise, the Wuppertal Institute worked together with Clean Energy Wire in the organisation of a three-day research tour for international journalists looking into decarbonisation pathways for Europe's top-emitting industries.
Fifteen international journalists took part in the research tour, which started out in Düsseldorf on Monday, 16 September. Vice-President of the Wuppertal Institute Prof. Dr. Manfred Fischedick rang in the research tour with a presentation about decarbonising heavy industry. This was followed by a talk from Prof. Dr. Andreas Pinkwart, Minister of Economic Affairs, Digitisation, Innovation and Energy of the State of North-Rhine Westphalia about the risks and opportunities of tackling industrial emissions.
Over the next couple of days, the tour included stops at Heidelberg Cement in Lixhe (Belgium), chemicals producer BASF in Ludwigshafen, the German Chemical Industry Association (VCI) in Frankfurt am Main, the Fraunhofer Institute for Wood Research in Braunschweig, and steelmaker Salzgitter AG in Salzgitter.
On the tour, journalists were able to examine how various technologies can contribute to extensive reductions in industrial greenhouse gas emissions and learn about the market conditions and political tools that will be required to develop the technologies and business models needed in the long term to ensure the transition to climate neutrality in today’s most emission-intensive industries.
Participants got a chance to visit a range of industrial facilities and innovation project sites (e.g. Heidelberg Cement's LEILAC carbon capture pilot plant and Salzgitter's SALCOS project for low-carbon steelmaking) and discuss with leading experts, policymakers, industry and trade union representatives. The tour was accompanied by experts from the Wuppertal Institute, to provide a research perspective and engage with the journalists along the way.