One of the main activities of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is the preparation of comprehensive assessment reports about the state of scientific, technical and socioeconomic knowledge on climate change, its causes, potential impacts and response strategies. Since 1988 the IPCC has prepared four assessment reports, which have had a fundamental role in the shaping of climate policy to date. The preparation of the Fifth Assessment Report (AR 5) is now underway, with three parts prepared by different working groups (WG): WG I (physical science basis), WG II (impacts, adaptation and vulnerability) and WG III (mitigation).
Prof. Manfred Fischedick, the vice-president of Wuppertal Institute, was appointed as one of two Coordinating Lead Authors of the AR 5 section which deals with the mitigation options and strategy in the industry sector. This chapter will be part of Working Group III's report and will be finalised in April 2014.
The AR5 chapter for industry will encompass the manufacturing, extractive and service industries. It will discuss drivers for industrial activity and trends for emissions in the sector in the short (2020) and medium term (2050), taking into account the latest available projections. The central element of the work will be the analysis of the potential and costs of available mitigation technologies, practices and behavioural changes. The mitigation options will also be analysed as to the risks, barriers and opportunites they pose, as well as to their implications for sustainable development goals.
Industry and services represent around one third of overall global GHG emissions. As urbanisation increases globally, the demand for products and services is bound to further increase, and hence the related industrial production and emissions. Of the manufacturing industries, the major energy and emission-intensive industries are the production of iron and steel, non-ferrous metals (e.g. aluminium), chemicals and fertilisers, minerals (cement, glass, concrete), and pulp and paper. The technical options for energy efficiency gains in industrial processes are relatively limited as compared to other areas of the economy, such as transport or energy generation. Resource efficiency and sustainable consumption are thus emerging as important sources of emission reductions in industry.