The World Economic Forum and US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry announced on Tuesday at COP27 the expansion of a coalition of global companies, to commit $12 billion in 2030 purchase commitments for green technologies to decarbonize the cement and concrete industry and other hard-to-abate sectors.
The latest expansion of the First Movers Coalition — made up of 65 companies with a collective market value of approximately $8 trillion — focuses on cleaning up one of the world’s most carbon-intensive industry sectors through purchasing commitments for low-carbon technology.
From construction and engineering to real estate and developers, newly announced First Mover companies have committed to purchasing at least 10 per cent near-zero cement and concrete per year by 2030.
“Cement is the second most consumed product globally after potable water, and the demand signal that top companies have set today for near-zero concrete will drive critical investment in next-generation technologies,” said Kerry.
“I am also delighted with the increased commitments we have announced across our existing long-distance transport, heavy industry and carbon removal sectors. This unprecedented $12 billion dollar demand signal will bring competitive technologies to market this decade that are needed to decarbonize so-called ‘hard-to-abate’ sectors of the global economy.”
Kerry announced the expansion of the First Movers Coalition alongside Brad Smith, President and Vice-Chair of Microsoft; Mads Nipper, Chief Executive Officer of Arsted; and Fernando Gonzalez, Chief Executive Officer of CEMEX.
Founding coalition members of the cement and concrete sector are General Motors, Vattenfall, ETEX, Arsted and RMZ Corporation.
“First Movers Coalition companies are paving the way for the decarbonization of our industries through disruptive innovations across seven of the hardest-to-abate sectors. The cement and concrete sector is the latest addition to this effort, creating the early markets needed to scale innovative green technologies. We are thrilled to see government partners join in this effort to ensure a net-zero transition that is truly global,” said Borge Brende, President of the World Economic Forum.
Since the Coalition’s launch in 2021, companies that make up the First Movers Coalition have made unprecedented advance purchase commitments by 2030 for near-zero carbon steel, aluminum, shipping, trucking, aviation, carbon dioxide removal solutions and now cement and concrete.
“General Motors is proud to confirm our intention to join the First Movers Coalition through a concrete commitment to signal a firm market demand for a net-zero transition,” said Mary T. Barra, Chair and Chief Executive Officer of General Motors.
“GM is actively pursuing the vision of a world with zero crashes, zero emissions, and zero congestion. We believe there is an economic opportunity and a social imperative in reducing carbon emissions.”
Recently joined First Movers Coalition members are: Autodesk (aviation), Bang & Olufsen (aluminium), Constellium (aluminium), Emirates Global Aluminium (carbon removal technologies), ETEX (cement and concrete), General Motors (cement and concrete), Hoegh Autoliners (shipping), PepsiCo (aluminium, trucking), Rio Tinto (aviation, shipping and trucking) and RMZ Corp (cement and concrete).
According to experts, the critical climate target of 1.5 degrees Celsius can only be reached if new decarbonizing technologies are quickly developed.
Demand signals today for innovative green technologies by 2030 will ensure that innovative green solutions are invested in and scaled in this decade.